Decandleling Japanese black pine

b3bowen

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Does anyone have any pictures of The state of their Japanese black Pine candles at the time of decandleling. I have watched Ryan Neal‘s video on training black Pines and it sounds like most of the time he is Decandling in his region around 1 June. I am in zone 7B North Carolina, and my needles are nearly hardened off by that point. I was just hoping to see the stage of the candle at the time it was removed.
 

Adam D

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It’s not necessarily a matter of what the candles look like at decandling time, unless the tree is extremely weak in which case don’t decandle. It’s more so about how much time is left In the growing season to get the tree to flush out again.

I’m right down the road from you near Mebane, NC and plan on decandling my pines around June 15. Very large pines can probably be decandled starting June 1.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Adam is right, it’s not about what they look like now, but rather how much time is left in your growing season. Second flush of JBP needs about 100 days to mature, so count backwards from your first frost date 100 days and that’s about the time to candle-cut. Cut earlier if you want to end up with longer needles, later if you want short needles.
 

LanceMac10

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Does anyone have any pictures of The state of their Japanese black Pine candles at the time of decandleling. I have watched Ryan Neal‘s video on training black Pines and it sounds like most of the time he is Decandling in his region around 1 June. I am in zone 7B North Carolina, and my needles are nearly hardened off by that point. I was just hoping to see the stage of the candle at the time it was removed.


Have you done this procedure before?
 

Mike Corazzi

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I think the OP wanted some ...pictures....of shoots/limbs being cut.
 

River's Edge

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Does anyone have any pictures of The state of their Japanese black Pine candles at the time of decandleling. I have watched Ryan Neal‘s video on training black Pines and it sounds like most of the time he is Decandling in his region around 1 June. I am in zone 7B North Carolina, and my needles are nearly hardened off by that point. I was just hoping to see the stage of the candle at the time it was removed.
The appearance of the candle will vary with the year and the location. The timing is dependant on the strength of the tree and the size of needles/second growth you are targeting. For your area a good starting point would be end of may/beginning of June. After you get to know the individual tree and your growing season better you can adjust to suit the target.
You can and likely will also adjust the timing depending on the stage of development/refinement your tree is at. If back budding and increasing density is also a high priority then you will likely wait a bit longer to decandle unless the needles are already standing out and beginning to harden off. Remember to combine decandling with thinning and selective cut back for best results. Also remember to wire out branches/shoots and tips down to increase air flow and light into the interior to promote further back budding after decandling. The tips down aids in the hormone balance for back budding.
Here is a photo of one of my black pines today. I am going to wait two weeks because I want a stronger interior back bud response to increase density on this tree. We have had a cool wet spring with slower growth pattern. I prefer that the needles be standing away from the candle and beginning to harden off before decandling. Also I am still working on reduction of needle size so shorter candles and smaller needles over a shorter growing season will just be a benefit. So I wait longer than the general guide line. Hope the comments help.IMG_0803.JPG
 

BrianBay9

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Adam is right, it’s not about what they look like now, but rather how much time is left in your growing season. Second flush of JBP needs about 100 days to mature, so count backwards from your first frost date 100 days and that’s about the time to candle-cut. Cut earlier if you want to end up with longer needles, later if you want short needles.

That's the most practical and succinct description of the timing I've seen
 

b3bowen

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I ask, because I do not have experience with this. Nearly all of my trees are deciduous. I have one young black pine is just growing out, and one probably 12 year old Japanese white pine seedling that is growing out. I have recently acquired a large Roughbark black pine, that is going to remain a container tree, but I don’t think I will bring it down small enough to be considered traditional bonsai. The tree is quite leggy, and each years growth appears to add about 6 inches to each branch. My primary goal would be to build density, since it’s a large tree, I don’t care about needle length. I repotted it this year, so I have considered just leaving it alone entirely this year, and start Decandling next year. I guess the part that Was confusing, is that at this point my candles are branches. But everyone talks about decandling now.

74E5A1D2-127C-4D67-B384-840644CB4733.jpeg
 

b3bowen

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If I choose not to completely remove candles, what happens if you just cut particularly long candles in half? Will you still get new latent buds below your cut?
 

Adam D

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If you want to push growth back further one technique you can do is to cut slightly into last years growth when cutting candles instead of cutting flush to last years growth. That will stimulate needle buds.

also wiring and needle plucking in the fall will help the tree back bud. Another thing that helps with back budding is placing the tree in as much sun as you can give it.

To gain a deeper understanding about pine bonsai techniques check out bonsaitonight.com
 

River's Edge

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If I choose not to completely remove candles, what happens if you just cut particularly long candles in half? Will you still get new latent buds below your cut?
Yes, you will get new buds where you cut the candle, provided there are needles below that point and it is not just bare neck of the candle. In that case it will die back to the next shoot. In this case it may trigger some back budding further back on the branch.
If you follow Adam's suggestion of cutting back into the old needles ( still healthy though) then you will get new buds at that point and are more likely to get a stronger back budding response further back on the branch. Even more improved chance if also thin and wire down the branch, allowing more light and air movement.
if you want a very clear and detailed explanation and demonstration of Decandling techniques for JBP. Order the DVD material from Boon and follow his guidance step by step. www.bonsaiboon.com
Set of three are available! Decandling Japanese Black Pine, Fall Maintenance Japanese Black Pine, Wiring& Styling Japanese black Pine.
One of the key aspects of instruction involves clarifying what is appropriate for trees in training as opposed to mature or refined trees. This is where Boon's instructions excel along with basic and essential wiring techniques. ( an extra DVD that is include free with the Wiring and Styling Japanese Black Pine DVD.
 
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