I am sorry for the blurry sideways second picture. It is just meant as proof that there is a lower down bud that I could go with.
I know this tree is ugly, but it is the first pine I've kept alive for more than a few years. I repotted last year at the National Arboretum workshop. It was much happier this year since we vacated an ant nest that was living in the pond basket it was growing in. There is one whirl of roots that will need to be turnicated or cut off in the next repotting which will alow it to be planted deeper and/or in a shallower pot.
I feel this is approaching it's first styling. I'm not sure if I should work with the top branch in the final design or if I should remove the interior growth on the top branch to isolate it as a sacrafice branch.
Thanks for any advice other then focus on better material,
If by styling you mean wiring that highest branch to be a new leader and (perhaps) trimming the stump back a bit nearer the new leader. then yes, it is ready. But there's not much else to be done but let it be for a good while.
Jim Lewis - firstname.lastname@example.org - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician
This tree has spent the last couple seasons at my sister's place, with little to no attention or fertilizer, due to some issues at my old apartment. Now that I have my own yard I can start thinking about next steps again. I won't rule out planting back in the ground. It was repotted two years ago and I was hoping it would pick up a bit more steam then it has. I am considering doing some minor maintenance like removing third and outer buds.
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