I was at a workshop with my juvenile JBP. Instructor told me to cut back the second year growth of needles, but I heard “cut back the needles”. When he discovered my error, I had cut back 4 of the 6 branches to needles lengths ranging from 1/2"-1". The apex was spared. He suggested I fertilize until November, restart in February until May 1. Otherwise, leave the tree alone. I am asking for input as to which fertilizer to use. I have Hollytone, Biogold, Miraclegro, and cotton seed meal. Any suggestions on preference, amounts, and frequency? Blush!
I would use followup care as though the tree had suffered a serious insect attack.
Also, if anyone asks, tell them the tree suffered a serious insect attack
Amount is dependant on the tree size and pot size usually! In this case i would use Biogold organic. If the tree was pretty healthy prior to the workshop then i would use a lighter dose to strengthen for winter. Keep the tree in as much sun as possible to maximize the photosynthesis in the needle stubs, thus keeping those branches alive and fed until the new buds break in the spring! Also take care to ensure that any new buds are protected and not rubbed off with wiring or handling. In this case i would not do any further work until the branches recover with strong extension.
Because the tree has been weakened with so much needle removal it might be a good idea to watch for fungal issues such as needlecast or tip blight and treat as soon as identified. A preventative copper/sulphur spray may be warranted. The remaining needles and buds will be crucial to the branches health and survival.
Thanks for all the responses. The stubs are looking
good now, considering. Only one dead area. The other
needles are spreading out well.