Sunday, June 28, 2009

results of feeding regime on mugo and Scots pine

This is a branch h of a mugo pine. This tree went through my aggressive feeding and watering regime throughout last year and developed many back buds. When the new buds have opened I cut the tip of the branch to develop strong growth close to the trunk. This process will be repeated for a few years.

In April I got a new Scots pine which was collected in Scandinavia tree years ago. It was planted into a plastic container and then more or less left alone since then. The tree was not watered too often and it seems it was never fed. This is outstanding material but it has to be quite healthy before styling can commence. Otherwise the tree will drop many branches and possibly stop to cooperate altogether.
So I realized that the substrate was fine but I had to water and feed aggressively. i fe several times with lots of nitrogen. And the results after only eight weeks are staggering.

This is how the whole tree looked six weeks ago. This is the typical growth pattern of trees in wilderness which are starving and in addition don't get too much water. This is good for developing good bonsai material over decades. But when the tree is going to become a bonsai you want a very healthy and vigorous tree before you start styling.

Here one can clearly see how much more healthy the new growth is than last year's. The bud had male flowers. I just let them grow. Now in addition to the terminal bud it grows additional buds right at the start of the new growth.

After the first bud for next year appears eh tree finds that things are going very well for him and brings out a second bud next to it. There will be up to ten new buds at the end of summer. This is the kind of problem one whats to have. I will then have to remove a few.

This is another Scots pine which I have since many years. Cones are a sure sign that the tree feels very healthy.


Anonymous said...


I feed mugos 20-20-20 or 30-10-10 at full strength weekly. Do you feed more often then that?

Ottawa Canada

Walter Pall said...


that's just about what I do.


About me: said...

Heya Walter!

Looks good! I seem to always struggle with the health of my pines. If it isn't needle cast, it's mites or aphids. They develop more than one terminal bud and back buds a lot, but the needles often seems to suffer from something. Unfortunatly I have to grow bonsai on my balcony so it gets hot and windy. Lately, one of the pines I care about the most have the tips of the needles drying out and they also twist as they dry out and it isn't from lack of water or clogged up soil. Any ideas?

Best regards
Emil, Sweden

Walter Pall said...


this sounds fine. I don't feed more often.


Walter Pall said...


I don't suffer from critters or teh ddisease you describe. Maybe it's the balcony. Maybe you are not watering enough. Too many folks still believe in what is written in the books and are very careful to not overwater. Thus they heavily UNDERWATER their trees. With modern substrate you must water agressively. The balcony and the tree and the substrate must be dripping wet once every day. Maybe this is the answer. You are trying to keep your balcony tidy and thus don't water enough.