Pruning Japanese Black Pines

digger714

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Hello everyone. I have some questions about summer pruning japanese black pines. If you are developing the trunk, do you still remove this years candles, or is this just to improve ramification?
 

garywood

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Digger, when starting a project, there needs to be a clear understanding of what you want. I know this gets old but doing everything right still takes a long time. If you have a clear vision of what you want then you need to try and understand what every bud and needle is doing for development. No wasted energy no wasted time. Without a shot of what you are doing and the stage it's in will just be a crap shoot. In general, if you are growing trunks then do not do any candle work unless it's absolutely necessary to keep a usable branch from becoming to large or if there is a danger of loosing fine shoots or buds on that branch. Sorry but there just isn't a yes, no or abc answer. Growing pines is just a hands on live and learn experience if you don't have a teacher close by.
Wood
 

digger714

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Thanks Barry & Gary. I think as usual, its the way i ask my questions is the problem. I am not doing any work to mine now. I read all these articles about how to prune JBP, and they are very informative, but the ones ive seen are usually being done on already potted trees. I want to make sure that all these techniques are used after the trees have been potted, or reached the size wanted, and the majority of the growth is done, or does it actually help the growth of the tree? Ive been taught the larger the tree grows, the larger the trunk becomes, and to leave all growth in certain areas on until the trunk, and nebari becomes the size you want. Ive left sacrificial branches on mine, and have been developing the bottom of the tree, while a top branch grows out. Ill post a couple pics of mine. Thanks for the info.
 
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Digger,

See my post a couple posts below, "Creating the base trunk". You need to allow full throttle growth on the growth you will not use for the final design "sacrafice" while at the same time keeping the branches you select for the final design recessive. You keep them recessive by cutting them back, maybe every year. I have only been doing this for 4 years now so am still learning and making mistakes. Part of the problem for us is that there is allot of very misleading information out there. Most of the info is very rote and only for a finished tree (trunk and primary branches). There is hardly any info on how to actually get the big and tapered nebari, base trunk, trunk and primary branches.

Brent from Evergreen Garden Works is the best source on the trunk. He teaches it beyond the rote level and really knows what he is doing on this. However the above linked posts, while excellent in their own right, are talking about two different things and will lead to confusion. Those 2 articles together do not tie the information together for pines for growing out the trunk, which is the info you need right now. Here is a post from somewhere else that is one of the best and most informative on this subject I have been able to find.

http://www.bonsaisite.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=20445

Brent's reply is a few down from the top.

You need to read this many times, at least I had to. For the most part it just re-afirmed what I had already been doing, again thanks to his advise. But is perhaps the most well written piece on this I have seen on the internet.
 
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digger714

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Thanks alot for the link, and thanks to you Brent for the advice. Im trying to learn what the different procedures do to the trees, and how it affects the growing. This really helps explain it. Like you said, its gonna take some studying to fully understand, and time to apply it to my trees.

Here are a couple pics of 3 trees i have. They are in the ground, and i would guess around 2 years old. The first two are of one with 4 new branches growing which should be ok, and just let the top grow as a sacrifice leader? The second two, you can see a new bud coming out, but nothing below. Should i top the tree at the first larger limb in hopes of new buds coming out, even though there are no needles on it? The last pic is of one with a couple new shoots coming out near the bottom of the tree.
 

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