How do you encourage branch growth on Japanese Black Pine?

(Simon) #1

Hi, I’m very, very new to the world of bonsai. I currently have a 2 year-old black pine that I grew from seed. I seems to be going great, but I’m conscious that it’s just growing straight and doesn’t seem to be creating any branches. I’ve included some pictures. Question I have is, in simple terms, is there anything I can do to encourage branch growth, or is there anything I should be doing now to control the development of the tree? Any help at this stage would be great, as books are a bit light on what to do between the 1-5 year old section.

Many thanks,


(Jonas Dupuich) #2

It looks like the tree is off to a good start. The next step will be to get some movement in the trunk. Here are some starting points for how to approach this.

In general, the goal at this stage is to thicken the trunk and develop the branches later. If you want a small tree (under 8") or low branches, I’d leave the needles in place when you wire the seedling as it’s relatively easy to stimulate branches to grow where there are needles.