dwarf scots pine question

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dwarf scots pine question

Post  NeilD3 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:39 am

I just found and purchased 2 dwarf scots pines in 7 gallon containers. They are typical in their Christmas tree shape common in nurseries.

I am certain there are forum members with a great deal of experience with pinus sylvestris.

Can the same techniques as Japanese Black pine be applied to induce back budding this spring, prior to initial styling (pruning and wiring early winter)?

If anyone has a good level of expertise with them I would greatly appreciate their input (seasonal tasks carried out to induce back budding).

Thanks for the input.

Best regard,
Neil

NeilD3
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Re: dwarf scots pine question

Post  Marty Weiser on Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:11 pm

I find that they respond very well black pine techinques. When I get a piece like you have I go through and open it up immediately by cutting back some of the long, outer nodes and cleaning out the old needles. With good fertilization they will often bud back this year.

Marty

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Re: dwarf scots pine question

Post  NeilD3 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:23 pm

Thanks Marty,
How far into the branches will you cut...1 years growth?

Do you find plucking needles is good or cutting. I have read in a couple of sources that clipping the old needles is more advisable.

Lastly..if cutting back by pruning, how will you decide which branch you prune hard, and which you simply needle prune. I would asume you did not do both tasks on the same branch in the spring time.

Thanks...sorry for the "20 questions".

Neil

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Re: dwarf scots pine question

Post  Marty Weiser on Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:07 am

Neil,

I do both needle cutting and cut back at the same time on new nursery stock - the amount depends a bit on both the health and cost - healthy, lower cost stock gets cut hard. Health is judged by the buds/candles - several at the branch tips is good. Sometimes I will cut back to three and even four year old wood. Imagine a branch that comes out and has a leader with two side branches - this repeats for a couple of years. I will often cut the main leader out back 3-4 years if the side branches that remain can be cut back so they still have some recent growth and good buds. I normally employ a progressive method - I cut off the strongest central branches (long entensions) unless I can see that as a new leader for the tree with main trunk being cut off. I continue to cut off the strongest remaining branches until I have removed 1/3 to 1/2 of the foliage (I tend to an agressive initial pruning on nursery stock). If I envision a much shorter tree I will cut off the branches in the middle of the tree and leave the top alone while pruning back the lower branches. The top is then a sacrifice to thicken the trunk while removal of the middle branches lets in lots of light to the lower branches.

I use a mixture of needle plucking and cutting. I generally pluck the top and bottom of a branch and cut the sides. However, if I wanted a new branch from the top or bottom I would cut the needles. If the tree responds to the initial pruning with strong growth and soem back budding you can work on removal of the older needles this year. That will bring in more light and may give a secondary budding later in the year. More complete needle reduction can be done the fall.

Finally, I normally repot new nursery stock at the same time I do the initial cut back. This involves loosening the root ball, sometimes removal of the bottom if there are lots of higher roots, and potting into a training box with a mix of the granular bonsai soil and some of the stuff from the nursery can. One of folks in our area puts this type of stock in the ground with 3-4" of lava/bark mix above the typical clay based root ball - the tree then ground layers since the roots seek out the good soil.

Marty

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Re: dwarf scots pine question

Post  NeilD3 on Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:15 am

Thank you Marty. I appreciate the detail in your response, and the first hand experiences.

Neil

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