Is this over-watering on black pine?

Hi Jonas, I’m jumping in on this thread as I’m sure there are lots like this. You seem knowledgeable so hopefully you can help.

Attached are a few pics of my young-ish black pine that has beautiful green needles until about a week ago they started really yellowing. With many plants yellowing but bonsai are a little different.
Do you think this is over watering? If so will it come right if I hold off water for a few days?

Thanks for the help.

Good question, there might be a couple of things going on here. When did you prune the main shoots? It’s natural for these to die back though I’d expect the dieback to progress more slowly.

Also curious about the soil and the watering. Overwatering and poor soil are both common culprits of poor health.

Finally, have you seen any new growth yet this year?

I snipped the candles about a month ago now, would that have killed the whole plant? The leaves since I wrote this have now all gone brown. In another blog someone told me it’s dead by I’ve tested the branches and they don’t snap off, so it seems like it isn’t dead.

The soil is similar to what I use with all my other bonsai but I am still learning so it could be wrong. I use a combination of akadama, Pummice (2/3) and a small amount of very high quality organic soil. Any advice on soil would be amazing?

Watering is what I initially thought because there has been a lot of rainfall in Sydney. In saying that, I do move my bonsai our of the rain when it’s been too much and check the soil always before watering again.

Haven’t actually seen any new growth this year which I thought I would after I snipped the candles.

Thanks again for the help.

Thanks for the info. It’s kind of a stumper - it might be that several things were going on.

As for the soil, simply akadama and pumice (1:3) alone is a great mix, I use it a lot. The organic ingredients can break down over time and hold a lot of moisture when that happens.

It may be that the tree was somewhat weak when the tree was pruned. Since then, has their been any warm weather? Sunburn is common when leaves that developed in the shade are newly exposed to the sun as they would be after pruning.

It also looks like there may have been some physical damage - am curious why some of the brown needles are angles downward at steep angles.

The biggest question is what was behind the pruning - cutting mid-branch like that isn’t a common approach. Can you say more about the cuts you made?

Re pruning, I definitely could have messed up. As mentioned I am still very green with bonsai. That wasn’t mid branch though it was only the tip of the candles to encourage more growth. That really shouldn’t have killed the whole plant but I agree the needles are at a strange angle, they went that way before turning colour actually.

I guess this will happen from time to time as I learn. I’ve taken it out the pot and planted it in my garden - maybe I’ll get lucky

Jonas I really appreciate you taking the time to read and give advice, thank you.

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