The European black pine, Pinus nigra is one of several two needle pines native to Europe. The range is from Austria to central Italy, Greece and what was Yugoslavia. The common name often used is Austrian pine or Corsican pine and it has had some commercial forestry use in this country. It is not naturally found in the UK but was introduced in 1835.
It is only rarely seen as bonsai on this country, indeed, this might be the only one we have seen. it is however, gaining in popularity in places like Austria and Germany where excellent yamadori [ wild collected ] bonsai material is found. It is a very tough species able to withstand harsh conditions and exposure.
We have a fair bit of history to go with this bonsai as you will see from the lower set of photos. We purchased this tree as yamadori from Marc Noelanders and we believe that it was collected in Austria as yamadori. It was soon sold to a regular customer who attended a Marc Noelanders workshop for the tree’s first ever styling, see photos. The year was 2008. At the time Marc was one of our regular advanced teachers. A feature of his workshops has always been a sketch of how he imagined the tree to progress and this can be seen in the photos. However under the then owner the bonsai progressed in a slightly different way and the photo of it in the studded drum pot is as it was when we purchased the tree back some years later. We liked the bonsai so much that at that stage it became part of the Willowbog Bonsai Private Collection where it has remained to this day, only being sold now so as to allow us the concentrate on a smaller number of bonsai consisting mainly of trees that we collected ourselves locally.
The tree has always been very strong and powerful and attention is needed to keep on top of spring and summer pruning. It received a refinement styling for us a few years back by the now well known Willowbogger, Caz, however a similar exercise is probably needed again now. This is a very mature looking bonsai, the trunk character is amazing with a significant base very typical of good yamadori bonsai. Lots going on and lots of character. We have always loved the entirely natural shari on the bottom section of trunk. There is now a very full canopy of branching as can be seen in the photos. The bonsai has a height of 70cm. and is 80cm. wide. The massive root base is about 34cm. across at soil level, the trunk itself about 11cm. in diam. The good quality imported oval unglazed ceramic measures 50x40x11cm.
I think it is very unlikely that there is another bonsai of this species, as mature as this specimen is, in this country, and possibly not very many in the whole of Europe. A rare opportunity to acquire a scarce species.
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