Scots pine bud clusters!

Dermot

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Hi Nutters!

About 12 months ago I purchased a Scot's pine as raw/pre bonsai material. It has a few clusters of buds which I can't find any information about. What's the best way to manage this growth? What's the cause of it?

Thanks
 

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Wires_Guy_wires

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They're called witch brooms and it's unclear what exactly causes this.
It can be viral, bacterial, fungal, archeal, hormonal, environmental. But the main thing about them is an excess of cytokinins and a distorted hormone process.

I've been rubbing most of the buds off and leaving two. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.
Sometimes doing nothing also doesn't work.
 

MichaelS

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I would recommend grafting a better variety onto that material
 

Dermot

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I think I'll try removing some of the cluster's and see what the next year brings.
 

Potawatomi13

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Wierd🤪! Brooms usually do not appear in profusion but singly AFAIK. Since this is live tree, not some inantimate "material" suggest work with what you have. Use profusion of potential branches to advantage. Be careful removing unneeded buds😝.
 

tangledtanuki

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Not sure if you can air layer Scotts but if you can I would try air layer them or even try a root layer. Witches brooms can be interesting genetics sometimes so you might get something with different needles.
 

Paradox

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Not sure if you can air layer Scotts but if you can I would try air layer them or even try a root layer. Witches brooms can be interesting genetics sometimes so you might get something with different needles.

You can't, most pines won't air layer
 

Dermot

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I'm struggling to find info on how to manage this growth. There does seem to be a bit of interest surrounding bonsai with witches broom type foliage.

Should I try to thin out the broom or maintain its density? Should I try to eradicate it completely from the branches? New growth has elongated past the broom in many cases. Does the broom take energy from the tree or is there enough foliage mass to photosynthesise efficiently ?

The tree has a nice thick trunk so it doesn't seem to have significantly impaired it's growth so far.

Thanks again!
 

Potawatomi13

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Upper trunk above major bend likely lost cause anyway as bare of branches, pretty boring. Broom likely to grow many branches with weakest/shaded ones dying out. Will amount to whorl of branches making undesirable trunk bulge so best suggestion likely to thin many buds for best style/growth as if never existed☺️.
 

clem

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Hi Nutters!

About 12 months ago I purchased a Scot's pine as raw/pre bonsai material. It has a few clusters of buds which I can't find any information about. What's the best way to manage this growth? What's the cause of it?

Thanks
I have this also on scotts pines, but not as BIG & numerous as yours.. Usually it dies naturally or I remove it. I dunno what is the cause of it neither but i would really love to know the exact reason!
Maybe the result of a virus ? Maybe the result of aphids damage ?

On your pine, it is huge, i would cut all of them asap
 

amcoffeegirl

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I don’t know anything about it but when looking on conifer kingdom I do see several listed as witches brooms collected.
it might be worth contacting someone over there before just cutting them off. I might plant it in my landscape.
It seems they have collecting trips hunting specifically for witches brooms over there.
 

amcoffeegirl

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Dont kill them!! witch brooms are cool, many of the dwarf cultivars of Japanese black pine and white pine came originally from witch brooms. You can try to propagate them by grafting or layering
I agree with this.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Dont kill them!! witch brooms are cool, many of the dwarf cultivars of Japanese black pine and white pine came originally from witch brooms. You can try to propagate them by grafting or layering
I've dealt with a lot of witches brooms the past couple of years. If you leave them "as is" they will kill themselves most of the times because their internal sap flow is not adequately built.
The key lesson I learned is to disinfect tools with alcohol. Even in between branches.
 

clem

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I have seen some that I like for sure.
Thank you for the link. It doesn't look like something healthy to me, as many buds die on the witch brooms that developp on my scott pines. The needles of the witch brooms on my trees are short but soft and not straight unlike the normal scotts pine needles. That's why i cut them on my pines. The less those witch brooms appear on my pines, the better in my opinion.. Just my feeling/opinion as i don't know what it is really and why it appears. 🤔
 
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