2 different candling methods

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I am aware that there are 2 or even 3 different candling methods. One where you cut all of the candles back in midsummer and one where they all get cut back in spring and then in the fall you cut the desired "keeper" candles back to the desired length and thin out the ones you do not want. The latter would seem to give you more control over internode length. With my limited experience in my climate where we have summer in spring and winter in summer (fog) last year I removed all of the candles in June and all I got were buds. I think this is because the weather was so cool and cloudy the whole time. I am finding the timing very frustraing for where I live. This year I will try on a test branch to remove all of the candles in May instead and on another I will try the Naka version as stated above. Naka recommends cutting all the candles over 1 inch in spring (there is the issue of timing again) how far into spring? Is there an appearance I am going for here? Spring can be March 25th or June 10th, etc. Big difference in candle length between the two dates.

It seems like it would be better to be able to cut the branches to size in fall instead of being at the mercy of the growing season and hoping the new candles do not get to long but at the same time hoping they grow from formed buds that same season. If you do not get new candles from the buds in that same season it seems like you are starting over at square one where these new candles will again grow to long the next season.

Any opinions on the 2 different techniques?
 

Mojosan

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I removed all of the candles in June and all I got were buds.

I am having the same issues, except my season is a little shorter than yours.
If you are going for two growth periods a year, then the above leads me to believe you candled too late. If you candled in May ( or even late April) as you said, then there would be more time in the fall to set those second buds.

I am going to try trimming candles in spring and only completely removing the unwanted ones. Until I get the timing down it's kind of a crap shoot.
 

Klytus

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I think there is a difference between training and maintaining.

With training you keep lopping off stuff at various times until you can begin maintaining at regular times.

I cut away last years overgrowth today on my Black Pine,i left it on during the winter after removing the giant buds and a bunch of needles in the fall.

Cut to a cluster of small buds,need not worry about the candling of those offcuts.

Probably i will let these extend fully whilst the untouched areas will be pinched.
 
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yenling83

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You should check out Boon's Black Pine DVD's or take an intensive. We'll just say he's pretty good with Black Pine:)
 

yenling83

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I'm about to watch them for the 8th or 9th time............:p
Nice! Yah i've done the re-potting video 10+ times. Boon diden't yell at me as much this time around! Next step- you should take an intensive.
 

Mojosan

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I have been thinking about that alot lately. I'm one of those people that learns the fastest by doing, not just listening/reading. I'm only 1500 miles away.......:(

Maybe next year...................
 
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So how many cut the candle to length and how many remove the entire candle then? It seems like the former way is better but obviously it is not because no one seems to do it that way.
 

Mike423

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Kind of ironic someone mentioned the Boon Black Pine DVD. I just recently was looking to purchase it. The only problem is I cant find it?? I looked on Amazon and eBay, but nothing. Is it rare or something? Anyone know some places where I can find it??
 

Dav4

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I'll break overly long candles by approx. 50% after they've extended but before the needles push out. The actual decandling occurs in early summer.
 
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I just had a Eureka moment!

http://bonsaikc.com/advanced-techniques/needle-therapy/

It's all about the candle necks sometimes being to long. There are no buds on the necks of course. This guys article explained candling pretty good for me. My situation is that the pines that I do have are still growing trunks and have very large sacrifice branches on them. However I am starting to select 1st and second/back branches for the final design. These require submissiveness to the massive vigor required to fatten trunk sections. This is very tricky and I think part of my problem is candling the "keeper" branches to late due to my cold and damp summers as well as the fact that so much energy is being diverted into the sacrifice branches. These large branches eventually get cut of when there job is finished and it is at this time that the finish branches can get to thick. This is the time where they need to be candled like a finished tree until the new sacrifice trunk section can get big enough to zap the vigor from the finished branches.

If that makes sense.

So in a nutshell if the candle necks are short enough for your objective with that branch extension then you could cut into the candle or branch and leave a few needles. Otherwise one must remove all the candles at their base.

I love it when I answer my own question, I think.
 

Scott Roxburgh

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I have been thinking about that alot lately. I'm one of those people that learns the fastest by doing, not just listening/reading. I'm only 1500 miles away.......:(

Maybe next year...................
I've been listening to SoBs for the past few years, then bought the DVDs and that convinced me to do an intensive last Fall...I'm 13,000 kms away, in Australia!

Just do it, your bonsai will thank you for it!

You'll have a great time to, all the guys are great!
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I'll break overly long candles by approx. 50% after they've extended but before the needles push out. The actual decandling occurs in early summer.
Dave is right; breaking candles in the spring is a separate operation from actual candle-cutting in the summer.

Marc, your two methods are correct, and based really on length of growing season. If your season is long enough, remove all candles in the summer, giving them enough time (only) to regrow before fall. This keeps the needles short. If the season is short, break candles in the spring, and do selective pruning in fall.

I've shared this article in the past, but it shows the process of candle-cutting on the same pine over several years (caution: it's a 30-mb file). Compressing time this way is a good method to illustrate this process and it's results.

http://www.nebaribonsai.com/Nebari_Bonsai_112109/Projects_files/Candle-Cutting 013011.pdf
 

John Kirby

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The three keys to success in two needle pines (JBP and JRP at least) are:
1) plenty of water (need good fast draining soil)
2) lots of fertilizer (especially in the fall and early spring- right up to candle removal)
3. timing and attention to detail.

When spring starts is really of little importance, the key is when do you expect growth to stop in the fall? The duration of growth after candle removal is the key to getting good mature needles grown before they must stop in preparation for dormancy.

Getting shorter needles is one of the benefits of decandling two needled pines, the other (even more important) benefit is the reduction in the length of the internodes and balancing growth between the top and weaker parts of the tree. Short internodes mean greater density of adventitious buds, greater opportunity for getting good buds on the interior of the tree.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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When spring starts is really of little importance, the key is when do you expect growth to stop in the fall? The duration of growth after candle removal is the key to getting good mature needles grown before they must stop in preparation for dormancy.
Exactly, and here, it takes about 75 days to regrow a 2nd flush on JBP. Start with your average first frost date (or a week or two after, since pines will continue to grow a little after a frost), count backwards 10-11 weeks, and that is when candle-cutting should be done.

Start with weak candles; remove the current year's candles entirely (leaving last year's alone). Wait a week, remove the medium-strength candles, wait a week, remove the strong ones. FEED LIKE CRAZY.

In Northern climates, candles can be removed all at once, with weak candles, cut flush to the point where they emerged. With medium-strength candles, leave a bit of the candles' neck, equal to the width of the neck, and with strong candles, leave a bit more of the candles' neck, equal to 1.5 times the width of the neck. The effect is the same. The longer the neck, the longer it takes to begin growing a new candle, and the key in each case is to give the weaker shoots a head-start over the strong ones so you end up with balanced growth.
 
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Thanks.

My problem is that not only is the growing season a variable but since my pine tree's are in the trunk growing stage I also have to deal with variable vigor dependent on the ratio of sacraficial branches of various sizes compared to final branches and their size. Add in only 4 years of experience and it is trial and error on timing. Especially since I am trying to figure this out across a variety of pines from dwarf red to black "species" pine.

Thanks for the replies on this because it is reassuring to know good results can be obtained cutting in the internode and this could make up for overly long candles at the end of the season due to poor planning and general lack of experience.

Leaving variouse stub lengths sounds like more of an advance technique and seems to throw another variable into the mix.

What a wonderful thing pines are. They are the most fun I have with any of my tree's due to the challenge and results when you pull it off correctly.
 
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