Japanese Black Pine (Kotobuki) 2014

Koto5 Kotobuki (left) is a dwarf Japanese Black Pine with needles that are less than half the size of a standard (right) Japanese Black Pine. I acquired this Kotobuki from uncle Pete who acquired it from our friend Will Feldman. Will purchased the tree online and estimates it to be about 15 years old. The tree has been used to cut scions for grafting.

Koto1 Oops! Before I took a picture of this 40 inch tall tree I accidentally broke off the top 22 inches bending the trunk. It just snapped right off in my hand. So much for a future air layering. I want to reduce the overall height of the tree to 24 – 28 inches.

Koto2 Here is the tree minus it’s old apex. To shorten the tree I want to bend the lower part of the trunk. I will do this by using an anchor and wire to pull down the top.

Koto3 There is a small wound left over from a removed lower branch near the base of the trunk. Perfect location for an anchor. Notice the small bulge on the trunk. This is the result of the Kotobuki graft on a standard Japanese Black Pine. It will remain noticeable for several years until the base of the tree thickens considerably.

Koto4 I inserted a galvanized deck screw, pulled down my wire and tied off. Koto8 Pulling down the trunk caused a small crack that I filled with cut paste.

Koto7 I wired out the major branches and left the smaller ones to be wired next year.

Koto6 Right now this is probably going to be my front view. Next year I will remove the current apex and wire up a small branch to create a new apex.

Have fun!

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