rae_the_writer
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Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:50 pm
Location: Augusta, GA

Baby Jack Pine turning brown & dry

Hey! I'm trying to grow a bonsai jack pine. This is my first attempt; I bought a kit to grow one at a bookstore. I've been following the directions in the kit which were:
Put in a West facing window
Leave in 1/4 in of water
Wait until it has branches to begin shaping.

I'm doing exactly as it says, but my tree looks sick (picture attached).

Help!
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Live long and prosper
Living in Augusta, GA

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Gnome
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Re: Baby Jack Pine turning brown & dry

Rae,

First, welcome to the site. I hardly know where to begin, these kits are a detriment to aspiring bonsai enthusiasts and should be shunned by all. :evil: They are marketed to the unwary, supplied with ill conceived directions, inferior materials, and seem almost designed to fail. It's not your fault but I have little hope for this particular seedling.

Pines are not suited to indoor culture and should be outside 24/7 in most locations. The soil supplied is very peaty and ill suited to your purpose. Never let it stand in water, as shown, for more than a few minutes. Light behind a window is greatly diminished and inadequate for most species. Even if you nurse it through its infancy it requires a dormant period during winter and will need to be hardened off. Sorry I can't be more optimistic.

The good news is it's only one and if you are serious we can help with your future endeavors. If you wish to pursue bonsai further we can continue, perhaps in a new thread.

rae_the_writer
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Location: Augusta, GA

Re: Baby Jack Pine turning brown & dry

Do you have any advice to attempt to salvage it? Or is putting it outside and giving it less water its best shot?

Thanks!
Live long and prosper
Living in Augusta, GA

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Gnome
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Re: Baby Jack Pine turning brown & dry

Rae,

There is a problem with Peat that puts your seedling at risk regardless of where it is located. But yes, outside would be better, assuming that you are not located in some extreme climate. Do not rush the process, shady first then slowly transitioning to an open location.

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Gnome
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Re: Baby Jack Pine turning brown & dry

Rae,

Here are some photos of some Pine seedlings I started a while back.
They represent April and October of 2006.
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October-2006.jpg
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rae_the_writer
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Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:50 pm
Location: Augusta, GA

Re: Baby Jack Pine turning brown & dry

Thanks for the tips! I'm going to try to repot it in better soil and better environment.
Live long and prosper
Living in Augusta, GA

tomc
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Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: Baby Jack Pine turning brown & dry

Peat moss is not your trees friend. Seedling pines' solution to finding good conditions is to broadcast tens of thousands of seeds.

Please notice that Gnome started many seeds, and had far fewer at first transplant.

If you only have a couple trees, you could probably get away with store-boughten cactus mix. If your getting into trees up to your axles, you will mix your own soil.
Think like a tree
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Gnome
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Re: Baby Jack Pine turning brown & dry

tomc wrote:.
Please notice that Gnome started many seeds, and had far fewer at first transplant.
And today I have four left alive. Starting from seed and ever getting anywhere in bonsai is more difficult than many realize.

tomc
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Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: Baby Jack Pine turning brown & dry

I had once upon a time a large mature blood-good Japan maple. It made tens of thousands of volunteer seeds. And thousands of volunteer seedlings. I would collect a hundred at a time of only the reddest of red seedlings. And ended up when I moved, with about fourty saplings.

I only was able to keep those alive when I switched over to making up my own bonsai soil.
Think like a tree
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