Lodge pole yamadori, needles turning pale green and brown no bands


(Orion Potts) #1

Hey guys, I collected some lodge pole last year in November, they made it through the wet winter but now 2 out of the 3 are having needles turn pale green to light brown! There are no bands in the needles so I don’t think it’s a disease. It is completely random what needles turn brown but the whole pine is pale green compared to the one sitting next to it. Is the normal??? Super worried about my pines!


(Jonas Dupuich) #2

Good question - the yellow ones do look weak. Did they have similar roots when you collected them? Am also curious if they all started the same color or if they were weaker to start with.

If they were about to fail, they’d look worse than they do. While they don’t look great, they don’t look too bad at this point.

Have you had much experience collecting lodge pole before?

As for what to do, the main thing is to watch the watering on the yellow trees. Not too much, though do provide water to the foliage every day. And while they can handle some sun, a full day of strong sun might be too much until they’ve established more roots.


(Orion Potts) #3

Good morning Jonas!

I would have to say the one that is still Green-Dark Green had the most roots during collection. But the 2 that did not have as many roots, did not turn pale green and light brown until a little before the start of spring (about a month ago), after the month or so of rain. Im worried about the roots.As of now, they are on the side of the house that gets indirect sun and a little bit of direct sun (maybe an hour or so). Should I transplant (in the same container) with new soil and check out the roots or do you think that may damage them further??


(Orion Potts) #4

OH! And some of the foliage has a white powdery substance on it on the pale ones, so I haven’t been watering their foliage. Is that mold?
And thank you so much for helping me out Jonas, you always do! :slight_smile:


(Jonas Dupuich) #5

Do you have a photo showing the white powder? It may be mildew.

I typically use straight pumice for collected trees. What soil are these planted in?

As for repotting now, I generally try to avoid repotting while the trees are getting established.


(Frank Corrigan) #6

My. First instinct would be to check the drainage carefully to ensure that the soil is draining freely and not staying to wet. Create some air space under the grow boxes and pots to allow free drainage and gas exchange in the container if that is not the case now. One can always create more openings in the containers if needed.
The key is to determine if the roots are staying too wet.
The safest path at this point is to ensure correct watering and some protection for the plant while it recovers. This is assuming that you can create reasonable drainage in the containers and adjust the watering technique. If the soil is too retentive of water than a change to a freer draining mix will be needed. In. That case be as careful of the roots as you possibly can be in making the change.
I suggest keeping newly collected trees in partial shade and protected from too much wind for the first year after collection. As previously mentioned frequent misting is very beneficial when the roots are recovering. Best of luck with the lodgepoles. A great reference is the article" The Green Cob" Bonsai Focus sept/oct 2007.


(Orion Potts) #7

Sorry for the late reply it’s been a busy year and we just purchased a brand new home and are building it!

Update: Both trees in the photo are now dead. The first died shortly after the original post, the one with the greener color has died about 2 weeks ago. It just slowly turned yellow to brown. Maybe overwatering or not enough oxygen to the roots, I am not sure :frowning: I used a lot of the original soil in the mix and did not replant int pure pumice as suggested. Arg! Need to study more before collecting more yamadori. I feel bad. I am moved in with the inlaws at the moment so it’s just been watered normally and not a lot of time spent on it. Thank you guys for your help though!

Jonas!!! I saw some of your photos in the current edition of Bonsai Focus!! Nice man!!