It’s July and some of my black pine candles are long and or open. One of my friends told me that it was too late cut!
The tree is relatively small and growing strong - you can still decandle this year, but I wouldn’t put it off much longer!
Thanks Jonas, I started cleaning up my JBP a couple days ago. Finished 10 so far. Have about 20 more to go. Hopeful I’ll be done by the end of the month.
Sounds good. Do note that the response may be a bit weaker than normal depending on how strong the trees are and how much fertilizer they received. If we have good weather (lots of heat!) this summer I expect the trees to do well. You can also stop fertilizing the pines now and start again in 1-2 months.
Yea, I was fertilizing them every 7-10 days. But stopped once I began cutting them. I live in Fremont, so it gets pretty hot in the summer. I’ll probably start feeding them 0-10-10 in about 2 months.
I had another question, about cutting candles on young trees in training, but first I’m going to look thru your search first and see if it was already answered.
Feel free to ask about the young trees in training - I’ll provide a link if there’s something relevant.
And as for the 0-10-10, it’s not necessary, particularly for pines. Michael Hagedorn talks about this in his latest book, Bonsai Heresy.
What the difference between “pinching candles in spring” and “decandling in June/July (for SoCal)” ?
I pinched 4-6" candles last April/May iirc… they were green, tender, 4-6" long, needles hardly coming out yet, etc.
Do you do “one or the other”? Or, are you supposed to do “both” (both spring-pinching + also June/July decandling)?
If only supposed to do “one or the other,” then which is correct - spring-pinching (super tender long candles); or, No spring-pinching at all but instead wait until June/July for those candles to turn even longer (and I assume fully needled-out too) to decandle/cut off?
This has always greatly confused me… so, I just pinch/cut off the tender candles in spring when they turn around 4-6" long.
Pinching candles (reducing candle size, but not removing them completely) before the needles open is used to slow down vigorous areas of the tree:
Decandling (completely removing new shoots after the needles have emerged) can follow pinching:
If you completely remove the candles before they open in spring you don’t get the benefits of decandling.
Thanks… I’ll re-read those blog posts.
I did both removal and also reduction of last spring candles on my 2 taller/bigger niwaki.
Removed the extra candles per whorl into 2 candles (bifurcation). Then the 2 leftover candles, I reduced/pinched them into smaller 1.5-2" lengths (a little longer, because niwaki).
In general, we don’t reduce long candles once they’ve matured as it’s not a dependable way to produce new buds at the end of the branch. Thinning down to two shoots per fall is typically done in fall once the summer growth has filled in.
Ah okay. Yeah, I’ve read before it’s best to reduce when still tender green, and reducing/cutting mature/brown candles (even with needles existing) usually produces only 1 new candle.
So, I reduced them (the 2) when they were still tender green before needles opened (April/May), broken/snapped them with fingers. But, I didn’t want to leave all the new tender green candles per whorl, so I removed all but 2.
Other than that…I haven’t done any other work yet (I didn’t June/July decandle them).
They are looking very full with healthy foliage right now (no candles are extending past the desired pad-silhouette).
They recently started to put on a new flush of candles per tip.
So, I think I shouldn’t decandle them? (because none are too long atm, nor past desried silhouette)
I plan to thin them down (reduce the current newest candles that are just starting to come out now, to 2, and also momiage/needle-pluck) this fall/winter/late-winter.
It’s right at the end of decandling season. If you want shorter internodes and the tree is growing vigorously (and was well-fertilized this spring), you can decandle. That said, based on your comment, it sounds like you’d be fine holding off too.