This pine is from the 2006 batch of seedlings and is one of only three root over rock from that batch; it is going to be at least 12-14″ tall as a finished tree, but I have to continue considering the improvement as it develops over the next few years. When I started these I didn’t have many stones around but I think out of the three that I found to use this is the best stone. There is some good texture to it and a bit of color variation.
For a bit more context and history on this batch and this tree check out my thread on Bnut.
Last summer at decandling time the tree was growing vigorously so I removed a large portion of the sacrifice branch and also decandled the tree. After candle cutting it started to turn quite yellow. At first I thought it was overwatering so I dialed back on the water a bit. When these are in large baskets and you cut off all the growth it seems logical that they would slow down on water uptake.
This spring, with all my other pines growing already this one was sitting there with the buds barely swelling still. Some of the pines in my yard already have half-inch long needles on the candles and all the others have candles of some sort already.
So, my rule of thumb is: when in doubt about health, repot.
What I found after removing it from the basket was that the top two inches of soil were clogged with residue from organic fertilizer. There was a profusion of fine roots in there and it was keeping the tree alive, but not allowing it to thrive. The soil below was completely full of fine roots and very dry.
With branching all the way around the stone and lower trunk I have the possibility of using almost any angle for the front. All I have to do is re-arrange the branching and remove anything blocking the view of the new front. Since I repotted it last week the buds are already starting to elongate.