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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Inappropriate Soil, Part 2.

     Time for a progress report. Back in September I described the effects of inappropriate soil on some young ponderosa pines. The nursery soil they were in when I bought them was much too poorly drained, and I moved them into a much coarser mix last spring. One died anyway, but the rest at least survived thru the season.

Of the remaining 12 trees, one died over the winter: the root damage it sustained in the poor soil was too severe to be overcome. By spring even the buds were brown.

No signs of life.

I'm cautiously optimistic about the other eleven, tho they are not out of the woods yet. (Pardon the pun -- I couldn't resist!) They show varying degrees of recovery up to this point. This one is doing the best, with the longest candles and the most new needles. It's even managing to sustain two tiny branches near its base.

This tree has recovered the most so far.
Others show less growth, but still are making progress.

Not as much recovery, but there still are new needles and a healthy bud.
And then there's "Feetlebaum," bringing up the rear. This tree's buds haven't opened, but haven't died either. It may simply sit for a season, building up reserves, and resume growth next spring.

Stalled, but hanging on.
These pictures were all taken about 10 days ago, and the pines have grown visibly since. Even "Feetlebaum's" buds appear to have swelled a little, tho they still haven't opened.

I planned to wire the trunks of these pines this spring, to give them some basic movement. (The boles are all arrow-straight.) But that will wait until next year, at least; longer for "Feetlebaum," I expect.

You can visit my earlier post about these trees here.

:-)  :-)  :-)

(P.S. Feetlebaum was a fictional horse, always bringing up the rear at the racecourse.)

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