Cutting Pine Needles

Nishant

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Hello Friends, I was wondering why no-one ever suggests cutting the pine needles half way through to make the needle size shorter and in a desired proportion. If one can cut branches and roots, why not leaf, particularly the Pines which are just plain easy to trim.
 

Vance Wood

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It is a practice that is almost universally frowned upon. You do get brown tips on your needles that are obvious to all.
 

Bananaman

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I don't advocate cutting pine needles. They can do harm to the tree. Cutting needles especially more than half the length is like completely defoliating a deciduous tree. It goes into repair mode to get new leaves. Pines can make lots of buds by cutting needles but it can also weaken the tree so much it sloowwleey dies.
 

LanceMac10

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They do smell purty…..but much easier on the tree to cut wood.

I've experimented too much....;):D:D:D:D:D:D:D Don't cut needles!o_Oo_Oo_O:rolleyes:o_O:oops::oops:
 

Bananaman

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Cutting needles should only be used to even out the outline of a canopy on a really nice pine. I'm talking Kokufu type pines by super experts. The needles cut are few and the damage is negligible. They are cut as they place the tree on the stand and have about 4 days till they start showing signs of being cut.

I have cut needles to see how a canopy might look on stock I'm growing, not on a finished tree.

But lets suppose that I had a Shohin display to set up for tonight and I needed a pine for the top shelf of a box stand. I have this tree but its not really in shape to exhibit tonight.

DSC_0004.JPG

If I were to cut the needles....I can't believe I'm doing this...it might look like this for tonight. Second generation Yammaki pot

DSC_0010.JPG

The piece of material as purchased.

DSC_00800080.JPG
 

coh

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I've been cutting needles on my JBP (in development) for a couple of years to even things out, along with needle removal. Haven't noticed any problems other than the brown tips. Of course, the goal is to eventually get the strength evened out across the tree so that the needles produced each year are the same length and small enough.
 

clem

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Maybe cutting needles can be usefull to balance the tree
Hello Friends, I was wondering why no-one ever suggests cutting the pine needles half way through to make the needle size shorter and in a desired proportion. If one can cut branches and roots, why not leaf, particularly the Pines which are just plain easy to trim.
It is done sometimes for aesthetic raison (exposition) in Japan but to balance the different parts of the tree and stimulate new buds to pop up, i guess it is better to remove some needles.
Sometimes even after needles removal i have already cut 30 to 50% of my thunberg pine needles when they are too long, and i didn't see any problem (same as member coh) when the tree is strong
 

Anthony

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@clem ,

how many years have you been growing J.B.pines ?

In Bonsai Today 12 or 20 there is a mention of
cutting needles but I believe it is more to do with 2 year
old seedlings.
Good Day
Anthony
 

clem

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@clem ,

how many years have you been growing J.B.pines ?

In Bonsai Today 12 or 20 there is a mention of
cutting needles but I believe it is more to do with 2 year
old seedlings.
Good Day
Anthony
Hello ! I have a small thunberg pine forest since 2005 but the trees are Young (less than 20 years). I don't say it is good to cut needles , i just say when i do it on my tree i don't see any damage. On the pic you can see a branch with Young buds after mekiri and needle cutting past year ->
pin thunberg cépée 2018 07 17 001.JPG
 

Anthony

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@clem ,

Hello Clem,:)

just checking the length of time you have been cutting the needles.
Most folk come on and leave no sense of time [ when doing something]

Also comparing notes..

We have to grow the J.b.pines from seed, so cautiously we test ideas.
Haven't figured out how to naturally get shorter needles as of yet [no
winter ] so sometimes to show Sifu [ Adair M ] the needles have been
cut.
Otherwise it is just a big bush.

Cut needles down here oxidise by the hours.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Vance Wood

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Hello ! I have a small thunberg pine forest since 2005 but the trees are Young (less than 20 years). I don't say it is good to cut needles , i just say when i do it on my tree i don't see any damage. On the pic you can see a branch with Young buds after mekiri and needle cutting past year ->
View attachment 201391
I'm sorry; look at the ends of your needles they are clearly damaged and some of them look more torn than cleanly cut. Did this hurt your tree/trees(?) probably not but it looks like crap. You can do this and maybe continue to do it but your trees are never going to in a show worthy state. That is one of the things that makes a bonsai not a tree in a pot; attention to details. You said when you do it??? Does this mean you have a technical reason good for the tree for doing this?
 

clem

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I'm sorry; look at the ends of your needles they are clearly damaged and some of them look more torn than cleanly cut. Did this hurt your tree/trees(?) probably not but it looks like crap. You can do this and maybe continue to do it but your trees are never going to in a show worthy state. That is one of the things that makes a bonsai not a tree in a pot; attention to details. You said when you do it??? Does this mean you have a technical reason good for the tree for doing this?
I mentionned no damage to the tree in term of strongness/health, but yes there is damage on the end of the needles. Maybe with perfect sharp scissors and cutting every needles separatly the result would be better. My tree isn't ready for a show at all and those needles will fall next year i guess. I do it just for aesthetic reason because some needles are far too long and i guess it helps to balance the tree.

Anyway, Japan bonsaika sometimes cut some too long needles of their thunberg pine during an exposition, it can be seen on pictures of the exposition book, and there is very few damage on the needles, maybe they do it the same day of the exposition ?


IMG_03061.jpg
IMG_03071.jpg
 

clem

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@clem ,

Hello Clem,:)

just checking the length of time you have been cutting the needles.
Most folk come on and leave no sense of time [ when doing something]

Also comparing notes..

We have to grow the J.b.pines from seed, so cautiously we test ideas.
Haven't figured out how to naturally get shorter needles as of yet [no
winter ] so sometimes to show Sifu [ Adair M ] the needles have been
cut.
Otherwise it is just a big bush.

Cut needles down here oxidise by the hours.
Good Day
Anthony
I guess it is possible to get smaller needles when you water very few and no fertilisation during spring and summer but it is very difficult for me to not water a pine, it is possible to see a palmatum maple who is thirsty (the leaves fall down), but a pine, i dunno so i don't want to make the tree suffer. But yes in mountains the dwarf scott pines have sometimes very very small needles because of lack of water and fertilizer
 

Vance Wood

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I mentionned no damage to the tree in term of strongness/health, but yes there is damage on the end of the needles. Maybe with perfect sharp scissors and cutting every needles separatly the result would be better. My tree isn't ready for a show at all and those needles will fall next year i guess. I do it just for aesthetic reason because some needles are far too long and i guess it helps to balance the tree.

Anyway, Japan bonsaika sometimes cut some too long needles of their thunberg pine during an exposition, it can be seen on pictures of the exposition book, and there is very few damage on the needles, maybe they do it the same day of the exposition ?


View attachment 201446
View attachment 201448
That is correct, if this technique is used it is done right before the show. If you are really concerned about the aesthetic you should delve into the techniques of needle reduction on Black Pines, that way you can have really nice Black Pines with really nice short needles, Yes there are ways to do this.
 

Vance Wood

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I guess it is possible to get smaller needles when you water very few and no fertilisation during spring and summer but it is very difficult for me to not water a pine, it is possible to see a palmatum maple who is thirsty (the leaves fall down), but a pine, i dunno so i don't want to make the tree suffer. But yes in mountains the dwarf scott pines have sometimes very very small needles because of lack of water and fertilizer
Sometimes they have very short needles because of root restrictions.
 
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I think Clem's example is great. Lots of back buds and they seem to have more light to develop.
I have one JBP with multiple sacrifice branches and some inner structure down low with a lot of buds.. I won't use the term ramification because I can't really get in there to sort things out. I would think some needle cutting may be just what I need to be able to get in there and start some order. and if it promotes back budding, great. My tree is decades or infinitely more from being show ready.
 

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