Pine Bonsai – A Less Common Cousin 6/14/17


This handsome cork bark (see corrections below*) Japanese red pine, with its deeply grooved bark tells a story of age and beauty. The artist is Enrico Savini.

If someone asked you to name two Japanese pines, you’d probably answer, Japanese black pine and Japanese white pine. This would make sense as most of the Japanese pine bonsai you see are Black or White.

However, there is another important Japanese pine. It’s the Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora). One reason you might not think of the Red pine is that it is less common than the Black or White pine and, it is difficult to distinguish from the Black pine (especially in photos).

Anyway, it’s time to enjoy some top notch Japanese red pines. All of the trees shown here are by Western bonsai artists. The photos are from The Art of Bonsai Project.

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Here's another Cork bark (see corrections below*) Japanese red pine. You don't see that many Red pine bonsai and you see ever fewer Cork bark red pines. The artist is Walter Pall. The tree was origianally collected in Korea and the pot is Korean.



We've shown this one before, but it's certainly good enough for an encore. The artist is Mariusz Komsta. The pot is Antique Chinese 'Koseiken'


pine3Here's another Mariusz Komsta tree. There was a day when deadwood on pines wasn't all that common (rotting is more of problem with pine deadwood than with deadwood on Juniper and some other conifers). As with all deadwood, lime sulfur slows rotting and helps keep it attractive.

*Thanks to our friend Bill Valavanis for setting us straight… “The pines you showed today are NOT cork bark. The Japanese red pines from Korea develop a thick bark, which looks like cork bark. They are called “Gansekisho” or “Senmaigawa”. They are often imported to Japan and then top grafted with Japanese red pine to make stunning specimens. Mr. Iwasaki had loads of them. Many were approached grafted in addition to top grafted.


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