Spring pruning Black Pine

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Spring pruning Black Pine

Post  RedQueenie on Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:53 pm

I was hoping someone could give me a bit of advise as to how and when I should start pruning back the candles on a Black Pine. The tree is fairly mature, but a bit leggy in the branches so trying to bring it back a bit Very Happy

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Re: Spring pruning Black Pine

Post  RedQueenie on Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:42 am

Even a point in the right direction of a good book or website would be handy Very Happy

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Re: Spring pruning Black Pine

Post  fiona on Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:25 am

Redqueenie, where in the UK are you as this will make a difference to the answer to your question. Up here in the  northern parts of the UK, as a general rule of thumb I wouldn't be carrying out this operation for a good three weeks after those down south would do.

Could you also give an indication of what level you are at in your bonsai experience so we don't inadvertently insult you.  What I mean by this is if you have no experience of candle pruning then my advice would be to find a local club or person who has got this experience.

A picture of the tree would also help so people can see what state of health the tree is in currently.

Hope that helps, but in the meantime try bonsai4me. You can get it by clicking HERE

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Re: Spring pruning Black Pine

Post  RedQueenie on Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:01 pm

Thanks for getting back. I live in the Cheshire area. I'd say my knowledge is about fair to middling with deciduous and a bit less with pines and conifers. I tried searching the internet, but became confused when some sites suggested cutting the strong then slightly weaker candles first and others the reverse! I've including a photo in which it's looking a bit sorrowful as its been neglected the last year or so. Hopefully with some advise I can getting looking spruced up in no time Very Happy


Hope the photo has come out okay. Technology always bamboozles me.

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Re: Spring pruning Black Pine

Post  fiona on Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:19 pm

Okay, what size is that tree as it isn't possible to tell from the photo? Also, what is your styling plan for the tree as that too will determine where you candle prune?

I think you should try and make contact with someone locally who can advise you better and from first hand, as I am uncomfortable with giving advice from a photograph.


ps what is the fleece material for?

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Re: Spring pruning Black Pine

Post  RedQueenie on Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:50 pm

The tree is approximately 60cm tall and the trunk about 17cm in circumference. The fleece is just there to protect the roots from the frost, it's been pretty darn cold here lately. Thanks for trying to help Very Happy

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Re: Spring pruning Black Pine

Post  MKBonsai on Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:43 pm

A very good way to cut through the varying advice you get on this subject is to search YouTube for Ryan Neal Pine Lecture - I've used his technique and its worked very well for me.

John T - MKBonsai

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Re: Spring pruning Black Pine

Post  RedQueenie on Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:16 pm

Fab!! I'll check him out Smile

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Re: Spring pruning Black Pine

Post  RedQueenie on Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:53 am

One other question.... As you can see the tree still has a lot of it's old needles, is it too late to reduce these and if so how many to? Would doing this as well as pinching be too stressful for the tree?

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Re: Spring pruning Black Pine

Post  MKBonsai on Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:22 pm

Your tree looks like it may only have last year's needles on it, as there doesn't seem to be many needles on the branches away from the tips. I may be wrong there but the fact that there doesn't appear to be a large number of needles makes it look that way. Anyway, the thing to remember with the needles is that they are the element in the package that converts the sun's energy into tree food via photosynthesis, so avoiding their removal at this stage is unlikely to be too detrimental. So I would err on the side of caution at this stage and leave them on to help give the tree energy, and then prune this year's growth in accordance with Ryan Neal's technique - which will hopefully promote back budding to help build branch structure and allow branch length reduction over time. Needle removal can then be built into the development program later on in the year and in subsequent years.

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Re: Spring pruning Black Pine

Post  RedQueenie on Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:20 am

Thank you soo much!! Surprised

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