Upside down Black Pine

Here is a wacky idea. My uncle Pete gave me a Black Pine and suggested that I style it as a cascade.  So I wired it up and bent it over the edge of a pot. 

All the while I am thinking this will be a constant battle with gravity. Why not just plant the tree upside down and let it grow upright. After a few years of growing and the tree is ready to train in a bonsai pot I could just flip it over and have a cascade style Black Pine.  Will it work?  Lets find out.

The first step was to punch a hole in a 15 inch square grow tray.

The next step was to wire the tree and plant it upside down in the tray.

I stuffed some sphagnum moss in the hole around the trunk and wired the roots down into the tray. I bent the trunk upright and wrapped some plastic tape around the pot to add some stability.

Here are the 2 trees side by side. One up, one down.  Now we just wait and see how they grow.

When I came back from my summer vacation this year I found that my upside down Black pine had died. I believe this was caused by transplanting it too late in the season. Pines are very sensitive to transplanting. The cascading Black pine is doing very good. I will start another upside down Black pine in the early spring.

March 1 2012

We are going to try this again. Maybe I can get it right the second time.

Sept 6, 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                   My first attempt to grow an upside down Black Pine failed. The second attempt (seen here) is very strong and healthy. I will wait at least one more year before doing any work on it.

                                                                                                                                     Left side view.

                                                                                                                                                       Right side view.

                                                                                                                                            Inverted view. Upside down upside down Black Pine. The plan is to style this tree as a cascade. Obviously I have a long, long way to go but this is proof we can grow trees upside down.

5 Responses to “Upside down Black Pine”

  1. Very clever … sweet logic!

    Will look forward to more posts.

  2. Nifty idea. I’m thinking about trying something similar with some
    Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’) in addition to wiring in an effort to get their stubborn rubbery branches to slope downward (towards the roots). I hope to see updates in the years ahead!

  3. Hi dear my friend
    How about your upside down Black Pine now?

  4. Piyasak Chansukon. Says:

    Wonderful!I’ll try with my trees.This is how to grow your cascade trees.

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