Needle plucking on Pinus sylvestris

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Needle plucking on Pinus sylvestris

Post  Woody on Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:28 pm

I have recently wire trained a branch on my Scots pine which I intend to form the new trunk. Most of the tree is being left to grow freely in order to thicken the lower trunk.
I want to know if I can needle pluck the wire trained portion in order to encourage some back budding whilst leaving the rest to grow unchecked?
Would this technique only divert strength from the wired portion, causing further weakening?
Has anyone got any other techniques which may help?

Woody
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Re: Needle plucking on Pinus sylvestris

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:40 pm

Welcome to IBC Woody! Smile

I wish I can give you an answer but I have no idea about Scots Pine. Hopefully someone knowledgeable comes soon to answer your question. Do you have a picture you can post? It will help.

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Re: Needle plucking on Pinus sylvestris

Post  Woody on Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:00 pm

Thanks for the welcome, I haven't taken any photos yet but I may be able to do that tomorrow. Watch this space!

Woody
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Re: Needle plucking on Pinus sylvestris

Post  0soyoung on Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:52 pm

Woody wrote:I have recently wire trained a branch on my Scots pine which I intend to form the new trunk. Most of the tree is being left to grow freely in order to thicken the lower trunk.
I want to know if I can needle pluck the wire trained portion in order to encourage some back budding whilst leaving the rest to grow unchecked?
Would this technique only divert strength from the wired portion, causing further weakening?
Has anyone got any other techniques which may help?

ALL real ENERGY in trees is photosynthates from the foliage. The more foliage, the faster/stronger a branch grows.  We cannot add foliage, we can only remove it. Hence, plucking needles from a weak area causes further weakening, and is exactly what you don't want to do. You could needle pluck the stronger areas to slow their future growth to match the weaker areas though.

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Re: Needle plucking on Pinus sylvestris

Post  dick benbow on Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:47 pm

as suggested by osoyoung, equaling out the distribution of needles to where the weak is encouraged and the strong weakened is something that needs to be mindfully done each year. Creating a balance prospers the look that we want on our pines.

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Re: Needle plucking on Pinus sylvestris

Post  Marty Weiser on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:48 am

Scots pine are one of my favorites since they back bud quite well. My suggestion is to moderately needle pluck the wired section and only leave 2 buds. Cut off all of the side branches from the lower sacrifice branches and also reduce them to only this year's needles and a single central bud. Fertilize well - I like to use mostly organic with some inorganic. The tree should respond with back buds. Strip them from the sacrifice branches and allow the terminal to grow. Use the back buds in the wired section as appropriate.

This combination should balance the tree's energy to some extent while obtaining the 2 desired items - ramification of the future tree and thickening of the lower trunk. Allowing a strong terminal on the sacrifice branches allows them to thicken, but cutting off their side branches directs some of the energy to the parts that are ramifying.

Marty Weiser
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Re: Needle plucking on Pinus sylvestris

Post  augustine on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:02 pm

A Bonsai nursery owner in my area does not pluck Scots pine needles. Rather she cuts them down to maybe a millimeter above the sheath in order to stimulate backbudding.

There is also an article on Juliam Adams' website, adamsbonsai.com on pine foliage management which may be helpful.

Good luck,

Augustine

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