Aleppo Pine Bonsai Tree care

Outdoor

Location

Site in full sun. All bonsai trees benefits from being shielded from strong winds. Aleppo Pines grow throughout the southern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Near East. Due to this, they are not fully frost hardy and winter protection will be required. Greenhouses, conservatories and sunny porches work well. We personally grow them outdoors in summer and move them into a cold greenhouse as the frosts appear.

Indoor

Aleppo Pines will grow in a conservatory or sunny porch but not in a household setting. Conservatories and porches can get very hot in summer, so do move the tree outdoors when the temperatures rise.

Watering

Again, think Mediterranean.  Aim to keep the soil evenly moist, like a damp cloth feels. It never wants to completely dry out but it too much water can damage it, especially in winter.

Pruning

Aleppo Pines grow two kinds of foliage. The immature foliage is the small needles that you can see. See also the much longer mature needles. As a wild tree the majority of the needles would be the longer mature needles, with the immature needles at the tips. As a bonsai, we only want the immature needles, as the sense of scale is much better with these. Simply trim the mature needles back to the same size as the immature ones. Do not cut off all of the immature needles. You can prune them at any time of year.

The needles grow radially all around the shoots – some needles point upwards, some to the side and some straight down. I like to trim off the downward-pointing needles with scissors.

You will see the new shoots at the end of the branches; prune these shoots back to keep the tree in shape. New shoots will grow at the point where you prune. Aleppo Pines back-bud better than many other species of Pine tree.

Branches are very flexible and can be shaped with wire.

Each needle will not live forever. They will live for a couple of years and then die. Clean out the old needles by pulling them off with your fingers. Try to get right inside the tree and keep this are open to allow light and air in.

Feeding

Aleppo pines have no special requirements with regards to fertilising.

We tend to use a slow release fertiliser on them. We apply Naruko three times per year – in April, June and August.

Repotting

Repot every couple of  years using a general bonsai soil mix. Pines prefer well draining soil.