Wow, what a winter huh? Even here in the Lone Star state we had it rough. Temperatures way below normal most of the time and a crazy ice storm right at the beginning to start things off.
Well that’s a thing of the past now as we move right along into spring. As soon as the first week of March arrived,I could hardly wait to repot my one year old Japanese Black Pine seedlings. If you remember from last years posting on the blog you saw the seedlings as they were planted and then as they blossomed forth into new life. Take a look back if you need a refresher.
They were babied in last years Texas heat as they were so tender at that time. Then when winter came it was in and out of the garage to protect those tiny roots from freezing. But now their tender little stems have hardened and the fun begins.
Here they are getting ready to be released from their little home together where they will go on by themselves to become an each individual tree that hopefully will show forth their beauty.
The potting soil I like to use for my J.B.P’s is 1 part Akadama, 1 part Lava, and 1 part Pumice. But because of the cost of these three components, I decided to do half with this mixture in individual colanders, and the other half in a mixture of haydite, sand, (not play sand) and sifted pine bark, and a little turface thrown in for good measure. This was put into two large containers where the seedlings would be planted together with enough room for them to spread their roots individually.
But before they were replanted, they began to be trained into the shape I wanted them to be. Their stems although hardened, were still a bit tender for a radical change. I decided to try anyway because if you remember what I said last year about these seedlings, that my plan was to make most if not all into cascade JBPs. Just sticking them in the soil straight up was not an option for me. This next pic shows me applying #16 copper wire around the trunks of each seedling. (notice that nice candle on this one?)
After the wire was applied came the moment of truth; the bending process, and whether or not the trunk would be able to withstand such a harsh bend. As you can see it worked out perfectly. I was totally surprised to see how flexible each seedling was in my twisting and bending.
So from this point on we’re going to try something new here. From now on whenever it’s possible I’ll be taking you to a video of some of my work as part of the blog. The small video will allow you to see the final part of this blog. You’ll be able to see up close the little seedlings in their new home along with their new shape as they start their beginnings into cascade Japanese Black Pines.
See you there. 🙂