Pine candles

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Pine candles

Postby Shagga » September 12th, 2018, 5:31 pm

Hey everyone

This is my first growing season dealing with pines. I have a few black pines and a scots pine.
The black pines are elongating and the scots pine is covered in buds.
Is now a good time to to take each set of buds back to two or do I wait till actual decandling time.
Feeling pretty a bit stupid because I’m pretty sure I’ve read and watched video about this but can’t remember the process.
Any advice is always greatly appreciated.

Chris.
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Re: Pine candles

Postby shibui » September 12th, 2018, 6:23 pm

These are new spring buds. I just let them all grow until December when I decandle.

That black pine looks pretty young. I don't decandle pines that are still developing. Decandling is saved for trees that are more developed.
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Re: Pine candles

Postby Ryceman3 » September 12th, 2018, 9:39 pm

Oh dear Shagga, you’re in big trouble sunshine. You’re about to be bitten by the pine bug, and that is an affliction which as far as I can tell may indeed be terminal!
I agree with what shibui says, if you’re happy with trunk girth then decandling is for you otherwise grow on to increase the trunk diameter and reassess down the track. It doesn’t mean don’t plan for the future though, look at the potential branch options and keep them in check so that when your trunk is where you want it you have branching ready to develop.
Also remember that Scots pine is not a multi-flush species and so is treated differently to JBP
Good luck with them
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Re: Pine candles

Postby Shagga » September 15th, 2018, 11:26 am

Thanks Shibui and Riceman

I’ve actually been bitten by the native bug as well lately not to mention maples from Shibui :shock: anyways I should have posted some pictures of the whole trees.
I’m actually pretty happy with the trunk size. I think the pines have a kind of literati/windswept feel to them and the Scots pine has nice features. I’d like to keep there overall size the same because I only have a small courtyard and a lot of other trees as you now know.
I’ll post the pictures see what you think...
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Last edited by Shagga on September 15th, 2018, 11:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Pine candles

Postby shibui » September 16th, 2018, 8:17 pm

OK. Now I can assess the stage of development a bit better and I can see there are some reasonable starter branches. You also tell us you are happy with the trunk development. I agree that it would be appropriate to start to move into the ramification phase with these trees.
For JBP:
Remove all candles over 10mm in mid December leaving 2-3 mm of the candle. Watch as new buds form around the base of the candle that was cut. Wait. Enjoy watching new buds grow and needles open. Wait until autumn when the new shoots will be full grown and hardened. Remove excess shoots - In strong areas (top of the tree and some outside branches) you'll probably have 4-6 new shoots at each pruning point. Cut off the stronger ones and leave just 2 of the smaller ones. In weaker areas (usually lower branches but also some shorter, inner branches) cut off the smaller shoots and leave 2 medium or stronger ones. This helps equalise the vigour over the whole tree. Also at that time, gently pluck off all older needles and some new needles leaving 6-8 pairs on each shoot (if some branches are stronger take a few more off or leave some extras on weaker shoots) Again this helps equalise strength all over the tree - strong branches are weakened and weaker areas get more strength.
Repeat the whole process each year. It may take several years to get good results.
If you miss the timeline for bud thinning and needle plucking, still do it. Better late than not at all.

I can see a couple of branches on the informal upright (pic 2 on the screen) that are a bit long with no secondary buds. Those I would prune back harder instead of just removing the candles. Cut back to just leave 3-4 pairs of needles. late Nov - mid Dec would be suitable time. New buds will form from the remaining needles. I think that is necessary because these are already long with no side branches. Decandling will only make new buds at the base of the candle - current end of the shoots and I think that will be too far out on those branches for beginning ramification. Pruning as suggested will give beginning ramification a few cm further back - not much but it could be significant later. If you have other long branches that we can't see use the same technique. You can do both these techniques on the same tree if required.
In following years there should be few longer shoots so this won't be necessary.

As with all technique there is some room for variation. I know that some growers snap new buds in half if they get too long over summer. Sometimes only 2 new buds grow after decandling. Obviously no need to cut shoots in autumn because there are only 2 but it would be Ok to cut these in half if they are stronger than the rest of the shoots.
The aim is always to equalise strength over the whole tree, make new buds grow closer to the branch/trunk and to get shorter shoots. Anything you can do to achieve this is good.

Scots pine: :lost: :lost:
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Re: Pine candles

Postby Jdceng » September 17th, 2018, 6:15 am

Hi Shagga

PM sent. :yes:
JC
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Re: Pine candles

Postby Shagga » September 17th, 2018, 6:47 pm

Thanks for the great response shibui very straight forward and informative your a legend mate :worship:
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