July 'Pruning' of JBP

tmjudd1

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I have a bit of 'leggy' growth present from last years candles. Would it be safe to 'Prune' those candles/soft branches back to the remaining needles of last years' growth... and expect buds to form before winter?
 

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0soyoung

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You can prevent this leggy growth or long candle necks by completely removing this year's candle/shoots. For your climate it may not be too late as I think you've got more than 100 days until the normal first hard freeze. If it is a touch late, you'll either get buds or very short shoots with very short needles. Nevertheless, as I recall this is about the standard JBP decandling time in the Dallas area.

But to your specific questions, yes, it is safe to prune those candles/soft branches now and certainly expect buds before winter (maybe even some new growth).
 

tmjudd1

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You can prevent this leggy growth or long candle necks by completely removing this year's candle/shoots. For your climate it may not be too late as I think you've got more than 100 days until the normal first hard freeze. If it is a touch late, you'll either get buds or very short shoots with very short needles. Nevertheless, as I recall this is about the standard JBP decandling time in the Dallas area.

But to your specific questions, yes, it is safe to prune those candles/soft branches now and certainly expect buds before winter (maybe even some new growth).
Many thanks. I've read that this is a good practice, but needed to ask a real person. The tree on the left got soooo leggy that there are limited opportunities for pruning, so I needle plucked in hopes of creating back-budding that I can cut back to next season.
 

0soyoung

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Needle plucking opens the tree to let light into the interior and is a means of balancing the vigor of the tree (i.e., take away the amount of photosynthetic power in strong areas to match that of the weaker ones).

Back budding is a matter of removing the apical meristem = pruning off the branch tip (check out Thimann-Skoog). Plucking needles does next to nothing in terms of reducing auxin flow.

On JBP you can decandle to do this or you can only remove part of this year's shoot or you can remove the end of the shoot back to some point in last years needles. Every needle bundle (of 2 needles) has a bud at its base. These sometimes remain viable after the needles have dropped, but generally not. Latent/invisible buds do exist at nodes which are tip buds/whorls of old. The highest probability of releasing buds with pruning is at the branch tip or a bud at the base of a leaf closest to the cut. Then buds at leaf bases closer to the roots. Then at old nodes. The lowest probability locations for bud release are in leafless internodes (on maples, the chances here are zero).
 

Shogun610

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Yup I’d decandle (completely cut ) this years growth back , and you’ll get back budding where you made that cut. Should not be too late. Decandle , then needle pluck back to 10-12 pairs to redistribute growth. Leave old needles on, they undergo photosynthesis more than new needles that hardened off. You can even go in later on if you got new growth to reduce branches back to pairs. If you’re shooting for development, leave a sacrificial leader to thicken the trunk.
 

clem

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hi, on the pine on the left, the wires enter inside the bark, so for me it is time to remove wire (and put a new one).
IMO you need to have a clear project on your pines in order to decide what to do... for example, if you want a small and ramified JBP, you can remove the strong candles in the end of June ( mekiri) and wait a few weeks to get new shoots. if you want the pine to have bigger trunk and size, you just trim the long candles in the middle (naka-mekiri) and let the tree grow this way year after year. You can leave some sacrifice branches to thicken the trunk etc etc
As soon as you know what you want for the future, you can decide (with logic) what to do.. or people here can help you to reach your project (with logic)
 

Shibui

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You can always cut pines back to healthy needles. That can mean cutting back to 2 or 3 year old wood provided it still has healthy needles. Spring cut back results in strong new shoot quite quickly. Summer cut back results in smaller shoots. later summer may only produce buds which will wait for spring to open. Winter cut back will produce new buds in the following spring which will then also grow strong as for spring cut back.
Many of the needles have been removed from these pines so cut back is a bit more limited now. You can still cut back to the lowest healthy needles, Sometimes that also triggers back buds from the fascicles of removed needles and sometimes even on older bare wood below.
Should not be too late now in Texas but growth of the new buds will be limited. You can still wait for spring and do the same cut back and get a stronger and quicker response then.
Decandling just produces smaller growth from the base of current spring growth which is great to start and improve ramification but it does not usually produce lots of back buds further down. I use different techniques for developing pines and decandling for the ones that require short shoots and increased ramification - maintenance.
Another option is to chop long shoots right back to lower side branches, especially if those side branches are shorter and more compact then use a side branch as the new trunk. Cut back like that is common to reduce size and to add taper to trunks or branches. follow such a cut back with better shoot management to grow shorter, more ramified new growth that can better build tree structure.
 

Ryceman3

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These pines are in development not refinement… correct?
Assuming that is right, decandling is out of the equation…. I would let these trees either:
1. Grow unhindered and really gain strength and therefore develop, creating options.
2. If you want to increase ramification look to cut back into existing shoots/needles in order to gain more budding opportunities and increase primary ramification. Assuming the tree is healthy, cutting back to viable needle sites should result in buds/shoots you can use down the track.
 

Shogun610

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Next spring leave a sacrificial branch alone to still pump growth while starting to build primary branch structure which should be your first step. Next spring cut the candles to balance energy or decandle completely at the base leaving a few pairs of older needles, this will cause the tree to push its second flush which replicates the strong storms off the coast in Japan where Black pine evolved , once the monsoon season was over , they evolved to push another flush of growth.
 

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