Hello all bonsai devotees. How are you? My name is Suhendra. I want to tell you my experience on how to keep, treat and create black pine bonsai. Perhaps this experience is only suitable for tropical area and I hope those who plant black pine will also have different experience to share. I have tried to plant black pine since 5 years ago (around 1980) when I got the seed from a friend traveling abroad.
I have known and fallen in love with black pine bonsai, since I had learn about bonsai for two years from a foreign book on how to treat and create bonsai by practicing directly, so that I gradually master it. When I learned that book, I saw a picture of black pine and Cemara (Juniperes) bonsai that were so beautiful and robust. Even more so the black pine with its cracked bark so that it looked old, antique and elegant. According to Taiwanese bonsai grower, black pine could live in both winter and summer. In those seasons, its leaves are still green and thriving, so that we can call it evergreen tree. From books I have read, I’m sure that this tree could grow in tropical area. From that time, I had been determined to get that kind of tree and tried to plant and grow it in Indonesia.
In the mids of 1980 I and my elder went to Taiwan to attend an international exhibition of bonsai. While looking for special new trees to enrich the variety of bonsai in Indonesia, from Taiwan I brought home some kinds of bonsai that I’d been always seen on some foreign bonsai books that we couldn’t find in Indonesian market (before 1985). They are: Hokkian Tea (Carmona mycrophylla), Pyracanta (Pyracanta Grenulata), Ulmus (Ulmus Parfiflora), Karet Kimeng (Ficus Microcarpa). After buying those bonsai, one thing I shouldn’t forget to be my prime target of searching is Black Pine. Setting aside my pocket money for returning home, I spent the rest to buy various kinds of pine, starting from seeds, young trees, half-grown bonsai, and grown-bonsai.
Some Taiwanese bonsai grower told me that Black Pine (Pinus Thumbergii) grows best compared with any other kinds of pine they plant. There are three kinds of Black Pine:
1. Those with long leaves (which is generally spread out in the market).
2. Those with short leaves (Seu Sung).
3. Those with mini leaves (Zuen Sau Hei Sung).
The three Black Pines are the most preferred by Taiwanese bonsai grower to be dwarfed