Home Forum Root Bonsai Beginners Discussion Dieback and Drooping Japanese Black Pine – please help

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    • MichaelMichael
      Post count: 3

      hi everyone, i am new here. i have done quite a bit of research and asking around on the condition of my JBP which was a gift 2 years ago. I am new having a JBP and feel that i have somewhat failed in taking good care of this.

      Up until about March/April this year, the tree was in great condition and was very healthy as shown in the photo of the tree in its healthy state. In around April this year, the lower branches started to dieback and needles fell off completely. Joined a club and it was evident that i need to get some aeration into the branches and thin it out, so i did. Unfortunately over winter, i had some more dieback and then some needles began to droop on the lower branches. i kept this in full sun and watered very carefully without overwatering it.

      At the end of winter i decided to take a look at the root base to see what was happening in the pot and upon doing so, noticed some air pockets in the soil which may have been cause to some branches dying back?? the last time this was repotted was just before it was purchased and gifted to me 2 years ago. i decided to go ahead and repot this and did so with some pine mix made up of a dry 2:1:1 Akadama, Pumice and Scoria.

      it has now been about 3 weeks and have noticed that some of the top branches are yellowing and drying off in some patches. i also note that there are a healthy amount of new buds still present on 60% of the foliage which i feel is promising. i have not been overwatering it and have been keeping it in morning sunlight only and out of the wind. i have watered approximately ecery 2-3 days when i can see the substrate is nearly completely dry. i also gave it a weak mix of seasol a week ago.

      can i please get some advice on what i can do with now? any recommendations on watering plan, sunlight, fertilisers or anything i can do to stop it from getting worse? it has been quite stressful to see it decline like this and will take any advice i can get.

      many thanks,


    • Anonymous
      Post count: 25780

      By the look of it and from past experience is due to over watering or drainage problem. The bad news is it probably won’t pull through. Very sorry.

    • MattMatt
      Post count: 131

      I’d probably repot it into a much bigger pot, more soil mass usually makes for easier water management.

      The bad news is, with these trees, by the time they show signs of signs of stress it’s often too late.

      Don’t impact the roots too much, just get it into a 15L regular plastic pot and cross your fingers. Much slower wet/dry cycles in a bigger pot so less risk of overwatering.

      Your mix sounds very free draining but acadama can sometimes collapse into a clay mud if the particle size was too small.

      Good luck…I hope the tree can recover.

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