Rd season for my Black Pine seedlngs

(Drew) #1

I have been growing JBP from seed, they are now into their 3rd growing season and this winter was pretty brutal on them. At the end of last year I had 70+ seedlings on the go. This spring I have lost a lot more than usual prob around 15-20 of them for some reason. They have all been treated the same way, are all in the same pots/soil but some have just browned off while others have extended their candles as you would expect in spring.
Is it just a survival if the fittest thing and the brutal late winter has killed off the weakest ones or could it ne something else? side by side one would be growing well while the one next to it would brown off and die??

(Drew) #2

Here is the bench at the start of last year:


GardenPics 3

(Justin) #3

could be a fungus thats killing them off…probably a root fungus…or they just dried out faster than the others…but i’m betting its a fungus

(Alain Krizic) #4

I’ve lost a few too, most of them that stayed in the same container for two years without being put into separtae pots.

The upper candles just dried, but for most of them that had lower buds, the lower buds are developping, altough they look a bit week compared to others that were repotted in their second year.

I think the roots were still a bit weak when there was a cold snap. Those that were better “established” didn’t suffer at all.

So to me, the root of the problem is the roots…

(Drew) #5

Yeah I think the small pond baskets didn’t protect the roots much at all,when that late cold snap can down from Russia… I think from now on ant smaller seedlings will be either going into bigger pond baskets for porcelain pots I think.

(Frank Corrigan) #6

Likely the effect of cold snap, container type, moisture held during cold snap. The pond basket style containers and colandars can dry out quickly and also provide little thermal protection. I typically winter JBP in those type of containers on the ground with mulch around or in the ground for extra protection. My zone is 8b but i was advised by an experienced bonsai nursery that they lost JBP frequently if temperatures stayed below -10 Celsius for any extended time.
Not sure what your temperatures were this winter. I have found it is typical to lose a few young pines in small containers over winter. last year i lost 7 out of 140. They were 1 year old in 3 inch pots left on the ground with mulch. The older trees at various stages were all fine and i just repotted them. Picture of some attached.

(Drew) #7

The temps where unusually cold here down to -7ish degrees for a good few weeks from end of February (a 1 in 15 year late winter). I did build a roof over the bench to keep the water off them over winter but it didn’t stop the freezing wind and snow… that plus the small pond baskets prob did it maybe?? I am planning on getting a poly tunnel to help keep the wind and rain off them over winter going forward.
I see you have used wooden boxes for most of yours, I may do the same. I also think you have buried pond baskets into raised garden beds? how has that worked out for you, or are the larger boxes better? I’m also thinking of using terracotta pots (not porcelain) what do you think?

(Merlin) #8

Those small pond baskets do look a little too small to get them trough winter without protection. But even when larger the frost is able to penetrate from every direction due to the open structure.

I have a White Pine in a pond basket and every winter I wrap a thick layer of bubble wrap around the basket for protection. It stays in a shelving unit along with my pine seedlings. The shelving unit also has a layer of bubble wrap around it which is open on one side and closes (like a door) when it will freeze around -5 Celsius. I live in zone 8b and mostly it would only freeze at night last winter with one night around -10 Celsius. The White Pine is doing fine and pushing candles at the moment.

(Sely) #9

They all look like awesome projects. I tend not to have too many losses, most of my trees are on the ground. I’m also in zone 8 but my white pines are grafted onto black pine, I treat them all the same and most are in nursery cans.

(Frank Corrigan) #10

The red containers are 8 inch colandars and they are set in the ground of the raised grow beds. I use them for the pines in years 2-4. They work well because some roots can escape and the ground tends to moderate temperature changes on the roots. This allows for rapid growth but a contained root ball with a suitable shape moving forward. For the younger plants being set in the ground gives them the winter protection needed in my climate. The wooden grow boxes are for the 4 year pines and up. They work great. The cedar ones last the longest 5-7 years in a wet climate. The bigger pines handle the winter fine in the larger wooden grow boxes, just set on the ground. The grow box allows me to work the tree on a bench or cart without having to lay on the ground. This becomes more important with age.

(Drew) #11

So I’ve noticed that the needles have these creamy white marks on them before the seedlings brown off and die. Could this be the cause of my issue? if so what do you think it could be?

IMG_0361 IMG_0360

I thought needle cast was a white ring around the needle?

Needle cast or other fungus?
(Frank Corrigan) #12

It does not look like the needlecast i am familiar with. I would examine the roots. Are all your pines affected or just the ones in the smaller containers? Are they all receiving the same water, fertilizer, sun exposure.
Perhaps the key factor is container size/ ventilation combined with free draining,drier soil components.