Adventurous JBP candles

Drew

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Hey I have another question. I cut back into 1 and two year old needles on a few of my younger JBPs quite early in the growing season as an experiment and to hopefully keep the foliage I aim to use in the future design close to the trunk. I got a mixture of results. some adventures buds shot out and extended far too long, others not as long. I also found I had multiple buds pop at some cut sights and one or two in other sites.

Is tree vigour and timing the two main factors that determine the extension lengths? anything else I may need to think about?

I think I’m going to try and cut back the longer extensions again this season (like i would a maple) to see id I will get shorter nodes, anyone tried this?

Long shoots (cluster)
251504

Longer shoots (just two)
251505

251506

Shorter Shoots
251507
 

Bonsai Nut

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Is tree vigour and timing the two main factors that determine the extension lengths? anything else I may need to think about?
You also need to consider number of candles on the tree, and number of needles on the branch.

If the tree is healthy, and the timing is right, the tree will allocate its strength to a great extent equally across its existing foliage mass. So if one branch has 40 needle pairs, and another branch has 10 needle pairs, the branch with 40 needle pairs is going to have candles that extend longer. This is just a general guideline, because some needle pairs can be strong and healthy, particularly on the top and exterior of the tree, while others can be smaller and weaker on lower or interior branches.

Also, if you have a strong tree and reduce the number of buds on the tree, the candles that result will be larger and extend farther than if you left numerous buds. This is why in order to get short needles on a JBP you want to develop ramification as soon as possible so that there are numerous short candles, versus only a few long candles.
 

0soyoung

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The highest elevation candle(s) will suppress ones lower down, closer to the ground (count height by the tip of the candle). The central bud of a whorl will produce the longest candle/shoot of the whorl.

The thickest stem has the most wood to transport water, minerals, and cytokinins (to release buds) and will support the most new growth. The new foliage, added to the old, produces the most carbohydrate and auxin to grow more new wood (causing the stem to thicken) --> the strongest gets stronger and suppresses new growth down below (apical dominance).
 

Shibui

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Is tree vigour and timing the two main factors that determine the extension lengths? anything else I may need to think about?
Fertiliser also affects the length of new candles. That's one reason for withdrawing fert from trees a few weeks before decandling.
It looks like your tree is still developing so it probably does not matter much if a few new shoots grow long. They can always be cut back next year or even removed completely.
As @[U][COLOR=#0066cc]0soyoung[/COLOR][/U] mentioned, one shoot in a bunch usually grows stronger and supresses the others. I only ever want 2 shoots from one place but I leave the strong ones growing through summer so that it will suppress the others in that bunch then at the end of summer just remove the strong one (and any other extras) and you are left with 2 smaller, compact shoots to build the ramification 👍 .
I think I’m going to try and cut back the longer extensions again this season (like i would a maple) to see id I will get shorter nodes, anyone tried this?
You can cut or even just snap longer candles in half at any time. That will certainly stop them growing. You may even get more buds forming near the cut end. Cutting them won't give shorter nodes (distance between leaves) but it will limit the length of the shoots if that's something you are worried about. Even if you leave them to grow this year you can prune back halfway next summer as you did this year (instead of just removing the new candles from the tips. If you follow a maintenance program for a few years the differences in growth and strength should gradually disappear to give more even distribution and strength.

Suppressing growth will certainly limit thickening in pines. You need to decide whether your trunk is already thick enough for the size and shape of the design then decide whether it really is time to start cutting excess growth.
 

Drew

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Thanks for all the info guys very informative and interesting. I have loads of JBP pre bonsai sitting around so just wanted to test this on one or two to see what the results would be before I tired it on anything more substantial.

Also in the below picture the candle in the background (top arrow on the left) is quite different to the other candles? why would that be? I will take a better picture of it when I get home from work.

IMG_26031.jpg
 

Shibui

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It is a bit unclear in the photo so I'll wait for the updated photo but I think the one in the background has reverted to juvenile growth (single flat needles as opposed to adult needles in pairs). That sometimes happens when you cut back further than just decandling. It also happens more often when the trees are younger.
Incidentally I've found that is quite easy to strike cuttings of juvenile pine growth.
 

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