Black Pine / Ponderosa Frankenstein Bonsai
Well. I’m not sure what to call Black Pines grafted onto Ponderosa stock. Frankensteins? Frankies? Feel free to suggest…
When I first started grafting Black Pine onto Ponderosa, I was unsure whether one could decandle them the same as Black Pine on its own roots. Before I went to Japan to study I grafted a small tree (not this one) and have now decandled it 10 years in a row. So there’s the answer: It’s the same. The tree becomes a Black Pine, it has the same powerful energy.
This gnarly little pine has been in the garden a while, collected by Randy Knight in the Rockies (back when it was a Ponderosa.) Several years ago, about four I think, I grafted two Black Pine scions onto it. This year we potted the tree for the first time, and then we decandled it a few months later, because it was showing a lot of strength. Here are a few photos of the pine this year:
Black/Ponderosa Frankie tree early this spring, testing out this round pot for suitability…
…we liked that pot, so in a Seasonal class we potted it up.
Now we jump ahead three months…the pine has long candles and is ready for decandling.
All these photos are with Seasonal class students (we used to call them SeaStudents but haven’t in a while for some reason.)
The small pile of needles on the lower left are the pulled needles from this tree, before cutting the candles. (Be sure to leave a lot more needles on a tree with this few branches, not 3 or 5 pairs.)
And now we’re jumping ahead again, about four weeks—the brown stub in the middle is where the spring candle was cut, and the new shoots are coming out on the sides which will be fully needled by the fall, but with much shorter shoots.