Japanese white pine heat damage

Hallo Jonas, I bought a grafted white pine from a business that import then from Japan to South Africa.

Due to heat some of the branches died , needles looks green but they are dry. I spoke with some local bonsai clubs here and they said I need to keep wp under shaded nets due to our sun heat.

What will the best after care be for tree so it can recover?


Jonas is much more knowledgeable than me but I have some ideas until someone else can provide advice.

Get it in the shade and keep it cool as possible. Water properly, don’t let it dry out and don’t let roots sit in water. Is the soil granular and free draining? If not make sure it doesn’t stay too wet. Don’t feed 'til the tree recovers (but you may be able to apply a light dose of fish and/or seaweed emulsion). I would certainly not use a chemical fertilizer like Miracle gro, chempack, etc. at least at this time.

IMO JWP is a beautiful but touchy tree and your climate may not be the best for this this species. In nature JWP lives in the mountains where temps are cooler.

Do the best you can. Go to a bonsai club to see if you can find people that grow the species. They will probably be the best source for advice. Good luck.



Thanks Raymond,

The tree’s branches are dying…

How it looked when I got it.

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Hello, sorry to hear about your JWP.
As I live in Brazil, and our climate in Sao Paulo is similar to yours, I can say with certainty that growing and caring for a JWP bonsai here is almost impossible; many tried it, many failed it.
They need a good dose of cold in the winter, below 0C and they get sick in our summer sun.

It’s interesting - some of the foliage looks good and other areas don’t look good. This makes me wonder if there’s a problem in the soil.

For now, I’d focus on watching the watering carefully. As Augustine noted, not too wet and not too dry is the key. I’d keep the tree in a relatively shady spot or under shade cloth - out of the full afternoon sun anyway. The idea is to not water until the soil begins to dry out, which may be several days. Light overhead watering or misting every day will also help.

A lack of winter is a common cause of unhealthy white pines. I don’t know if this is the problem here, but if it is, it’s a tough thing to get around.

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Thanks everyone for your advice…almost 80% of its branches had die off. I’m misting tree every day and water very little. Also keeping tree in shade …