Candle pruning

mcpesq817

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When it comes to pine techniques, I think I understand candle pinching, needle thinning and bud selection. What I don't understand particularly well is what "candle pruning" entails.

Is it removal of all the new growth from the beginning of this season's candles, or is it something else?
 

greerhw

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When it comes to pine techniques, I think I understand candle pinching, needle thinning and bud selection. What I don't understand particularly well is what "candle pruning" entails.

Is it removal of all the new growth from the beginning of this season's candles, or is it something else?

Without seeing your tree, I can't give to specific instructions, but in general, cut the strongest new candles which are usually on the apex and leave the weak ones alone. Cut the candles with a sharp pair of shears right down to the last years needles, fertilize for a couple of weeks , give the tree shade from about 1:00 on and wait for the new candles to sprout. Good luck,

keep it green,
Harry
 

greerhw

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JBP, JWP require's a little different process and since I don't own any, someone else will have to help with the correct procedure for the white pine.

keep it green,
Harry
 

mcpesq817

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Without seeing your tree, I can't give to specific instructions, but in general, cut the strongest new candles which are usually on the apex and leave the weak ones alone. Cut the candles with a sharp pair of shears right down to the last years needles, fertilize for a couple of weeks , give the tree shade from about 1:00 on and wait for the new candles to sprout. Good luck,

keep it green,
Harry
Thanks Harry - that is very helpful. I bought a couple of JBPs from Nature's Way earlier this spring that I wanted to start work on.

By the way, I saw the picture you posted of your Ponderosa from Jason. Really nice tree - I thought about buying that one as well. I ended up picking up two others on the Oregon Bonsai site, and am really happy with them. Would highly recommend anyone looking to buy a collected ponderosa that they get in touch with Jason.
 

TimZ8

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Wo.. slow down here. Harry gave you great instructions for white pine maybe, not black pine. DO NOT cut the strongest first. The weaker areas/branches need a head start. Start with your weaker buds/branches that need to be removed then work toward the apex. A two week lag time from bottom, middle then top is good. A picture would help...

Tim
 
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greerhw

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The instructions I gave you are for developing new trees. If you are maintaining fairly developed or finished trees, Tim is right. Cut the smaller candles first, then wait a couple of weeks to cut the larger candles last, to give the smaller candles a head start to pop on the weaker areas of the tree.

keep it green,
Harry
 
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Bonsai Nut

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JWP and JBP are exact opposite in TIMING of when you cut certain candles - so you have to understand what you are trying to accomplish.

For pines it is all about balancing the strength of the tree across all branches and especially across interior and exterior spaces.

For JBP:
Leave the smallest candles alone it they are less than 1/4 inch.
Divide all the remaining candles into two groups - strong and moderate. Remove all the moderate strength ones first, then wait about one week, and then remove all the strong ones. I have also heard of people starting with removing candles on lower branches first, wait a week, then middle branches, wait a week, then upper branches. The idea here is to cut the weaker candles FIRST to give a chance for buds to start developing, and then when you cut the strong candles, the weak buds get turbo-charged.

For JWP:
It is the exact opposite for JWP. Leave the weak candles alone. Then cut the STRONG candles first, wait a week, and cut the weaker candles. You can also start at the top of the tree, cut the candles at the top, wait a week, cut the candles in the middle, wait a week, and then finish with the bottom.
 

Dav4

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Hey guys, I was always under the impression that less vigorous growers like JWP were rarely/never decandled, only pinched and needle plucked.

Dave
 

kytombonsai

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One of the senior members of our local society wrote an excellent paper for ABS a few years ago on candle pruning pines. The last time I looked, it was still on their website. He listed about every pine available in the US. This is the schedule I use for my pines.

Tom
 

mcpesq817

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Thanks for the info. There's a lot of different stuff out there in books on the internet, etc., which makes it all a bit confusing. I actually tried putting together a spreadsheet on the different methods presented by the Stone Lantern book, the Steve Pilacek book, and various people on the internet.

The clearest advice I've seen, complete with pictures, is from Hans, which you can find on his website here:

http://www.karamotto.org/

Or you can find it here:

http://knowledgeofbonsai.org/articl...rimming-pinching/two-needle-pine-care-basics/

Hans also had a similar article which is available on one of the bonsai website out there - that article is a little more in depth and spells out in a little more detail the differences in techniques among the various pine species - black, white, mugo, scots, ponderosa, etc. I printed out a copy last year, but forget which website it is on.
 
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FrankP999

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KYTOM
Could you give us more info on teh article you mention so I can locate it? Author's name, or a Title would help. Thanks

Frank
 

FrankP999

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I never have understood why white pines and black pines are treated so differently. I would appreciate anyone's explaination of why these are candled "opposite" from each other. Thanks

Frank
 

mcpesq817

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Chris,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was a bit confused how you could give weaker areas a head start if you cut them first, but I see the head start refers to the second set of buds that will develop after the candle pruning (as opposed to a head start for the candles/first set of buds that you are cutting).

Your post cleared it up for me - or at least if I understood you right, it's all clear to me now :)

Thanks again.
 

bonsai barry

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I'm not familar with needle plucking at this time of the year. I thought it mostly took place in the late fall. Let me know because I might too start plucking soon.
 
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For a young developing tree:

When you cut the candle in half (or anywhere but complete removal) you get that juvinile growth. I guess this is not a problem in a developing tree? Could you not just cut back into last years candle base if there were still some needles down there?
 

kytombonsai

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Sorry about that. I listed the article as being with ABS when it was actually on the MABA website. It was written by Doug Hawley. I was thinking about the ABS magazine which Doug writes articles for. I think the article was titled Pines in the Midwest. The only thing I have done differently than the article is to try to remove all candles on black pines as early as possible in June or I end up with 1/2" to 3/4" needles by the end of summer. While this looks cool on the trees I think it weakens it for the following year. By removing earlier in June the needles have a little while longer to grow.This way the needles end up at about 1" to 1-1/4" long. In the past, I wouldn't remove the last layer of candles until the first of July. I also fertilize heavily during this period.

Tom
 

Fred-4-u

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For a young developing tree:

Could you not just cut back into last years candle base if there were still some needles down there?
Good question... : yes you can.
If your tree is healthy and strong, you get a lot of back budding on the old wood.
 

painter

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this is for chris. and i know he has been meaning to do this on his blog.
i was hoping to find a place where all the info on black pines could be in one place. especially the difference in DEVELOPING and REFINING/FINISHED trees.
hes especially knowledgable and patient.
(good Attributes to teaching us)
p
 
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