I recently acquired a well established grafted cork bark black pine. I would like to know of any requirements or recommendations to keep it healthy.
Sounds nice. Are you familiar with basic conifer bonsai care? Will also be curious what the climate is like where you live.
I am familiar with the basics. I live in Los Angeles. So does my new tree.
On a side note, I became a big fan of yours after attending your Sacramento juniper workshop. Thanks!
Thanks, it’s great to hear from you! Cork bark pines don’t require a lot of special care - the basics will be similar to the procumbens juniper or to non-cork bark pines. Full sun, repot in January or February in a mix of 1 part akadama, 1 part pumice, 1 part scoria or similar, and water when the top third of the soil becomes dry.
Cork bark pines can be decandled in June if the tree is very strong. Some cork barks are decandled every year while others are only decandled every second or third year. If I have any reservations - the new growth is weak, the tree was repotted, the tree was cut back heavily - I skip decandling and try again the following year.
I fertilize cork bark pines heavily in spring and fall. In addition to decandling in June, I pull needles and thin branches in fall or winter. Wiring can happen in winter or at decandling time.