One of my JBP after new candles evolved

vancehanna

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This little guy is looking decent and hopefully a bit more fill in next year with back buds for a denser appearance.
 

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Adair M

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Is there a back branch?

If not, graft one (or more) on.
 

vancehanna

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This little guy is looking decent and hopefully a bit more fill in next year with back buds for a denser appearance.
 

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Forsoothe!

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Candles removed today?
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I’m confused. Did you really “decandle”? Remove all the new growth by cutting the candle close to the base of the shoot? Or just shorten them by pinching them back?
Doesn’t look like decandling as you and I would describe it. Those shoots look about like my first flush looks now, but it looks like he may have removed last year’s needles. This is not how I handle my JBP. Three of my JBP as I they look now. The current shoots’ growth look similar to the OP:
8728D2CC-19AF-430F-8496-C273885B34C5.jpeg2556EC33-ED32-4E20-B1E6-5F0B41AE356B.jpegE0D74E34-F695-4FAF-92F0-915F15A38FA9.jpeg

If I candle-cut them (removing all of this year’s shoots), I won’t do it for another month or more, giving the next flush of growth around 100 days to grow and harden off. I’ll do this a bit earlier to give bigger trees more time to grow longer needles, and a bit later for smaller trees to keep the needles shorter. At the same time, I may pull some old needles, but most of the old needle-pulling will be done in the fall.
 

Adair M

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Doesn’t look like decandling as you and I would describe it. Those shoots look about like my first flush looks now, but it looks like he may have removed last year’s needles. This is not how I handle my JBP. Three of my JBP as I they look now. The current shoots’ growth look similar to the OP:
View attachment 376167View attachment 376168View attachment 376169

If I candle-cut them (removing all of this year’s shoots), I won’t do it for another month or more, giving the next flush of growth around 100 days to grow and harden off. I’ll do this a bit earlier to give bigger trees more time to grow longer needles, and a bit later for smaller trees to keep the needles shorter. At the same time, I may pull some old needles, but most of the old needle-pulling will be done in the fall.
I agree with your assessment, Brian. There are not many old needles remaining on Vance’s tree. Therefore, I don’t think it could be decandled properly this summer.

Vance, you state that you want it to backbud, and develop more twigs, right?

The normal way to do this is to decandle in the summer. Remove all the current year’s grow, and let the tree send out new shoots from the base of the stub where the candle used to be. Typically, you get three shoots (where you only had one before decandling), and these will grow shorter and have shorter needles.

Brian has an excellent e-book describing the process.

However, to be able to do this, there needs to be old needles on the twigs when you decandle. It looks like you’ve removed most of the old needles, so I fear that you can’t decandle this tree this tree this summer.

Instead, wait until this fall. Remove and replace the wire. You will need to get those new shoots that are growing straight up to be more horizontal. Pull the old needles that remain.

This will splay the foliage out so that it exposes the woody part of the branches to full sun. And the sun can stimulate backbudding from old nodes. This usually occurs over the winter for me.

Next year, 2022, don’t mess with the new foliage until mid June! At that time, decandle. Remove all the 2022 foliage. You should get new buds within a month, and by November 2022, your tree will be MUCH fuller.
 

vancehanna

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I’m confused. Did you really “decandle”? Remove all the new growth by cutting the candle close to the base of the shoot? Or just shorten them by pinching them back?
Cut ‘em all off totally at the base
 

Bonsai Nut

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I agree with your assessment, Brian. There are not many old needles remaining on Vance’s tree. Therefore, I don’t think it could be decandled properly this summer.

....and just to add to what Adair is saying, don't cut old needles short, even if they are much longer than your new growth. Short needles will come with time and good technique. Keep the old long needles long because until you develop ramification they are proving a lot of strength to the tree.
 

Adair M

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Cut ‘em all off totally at the base
Wow! That’s amazing that they have regrown that much in so short a period of time!

So, I have to ask, why did you do it so early in the season? And, what was their state of development when you did it? Had they developed needles?

The reason I ask is I do it MUCH later in the growing season. Here in Georgia, I find that decandling works well to do it in mid to late June or into July. That gives the tree time to grow out it’s needles, and they actually “harden off”. That is, they stop growing.

Letting them grow out is important for the health of the tree. Why? The new growth produces lots of auxin. Auxin is the hormone that signals the roots that they should grow. It also suppresses secondary buds from developing. (The back budding you are wanting to have).

So, by decandling really early, the roots don’t get the chance to really grow strong. The tree doesn’t get the sugars that it would normally get, either. So, the tree begins the year in a weakened state. And now that the tree has “used it’s reserves” to push a second spring candle, it won’t have the strength to push back buds. And another thing is since the second flush is started so early in the year, there is a long growing season still ahead. Which gives the needles a long time to get long.

In short, removing candles early is totally ineffective! And can be detrimental to the health of the tree!

I suspect you may have gotten your information about JBP decandling from John Naka’s books, Techniques 1 and 2. Those books are TOTALLY OBSOLETE, when it comes to JBP needle management! Following the practices as illustrated in his books will produce weak, undeveloped JBP. I’m sorry to have to say it, but it’s true. Too many people follow those books as they would The Bible! Unfortunately, the decandling techniques we know of today were closely held family secrets in Japan at the time Naka published his books.

If you want to see the results of the modern decandling techniques, I suggest you review Brian Van Fleet’s ebook, or peruse Jonas Duprich’s excellent blog: www.BonsaiTonight.com.

By discarding the old unsuccessful ways, and following the modern method, you could have the tree of your dreams in a matter of two or three years!
 

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