Japanese Black Pine Needles vs Candles

Hello. I have a jbp that arrived in early summer to PR. When this tree arrived the candles were like 2-3 inches, due to lack of knowledge and the weather change I keep the I did not decandle it this summer and I decides to leave until next year to decandle it.

Now I noticed that the needles from last year at the bottom are drying and probably I will loose them.
Basically the design of this tree is almost done, I don’t need that candle to grow up since the branches are already developed.
If those needles die then my design will be impacted? This needles will grow again?

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Thanks Joel, the photos are very helpful. Here’s some info.

  1. You can remove the yellow needles as they are about to fall away.

  2. Although new needles won’t grow in the same place, new buds may appear that can help you keep the tree compact. You can see one of these buds in the first photo (the shoot on the left).

  3. Now is a good time of year to remove some of the new needles. By thinning the foliage, more light will reach the tree’s interior which will help stimulate new buds in the future. I’ll make a post about how to pull needles in a week or two. In the meantime, here are some tips: https://bonsaitonight.com/2013/06/25/pulling-pine-needles/

Unrelated, in the third photo t looks like the wire is cutting in - now’s a good time to remove it!

Thanks for the info Jonas
So the recommendation is to keep the candles there until next summer even we are in a tropical weather?

Yes, I’d keep the candles for now. The typical approach is to wait for new candles to mature before removing them. If they are cut at different times of the year we don’t get the buds we’re looking for.

I expect the care to be different in Puerto Rico, but I don’t know the exact timing. The main thing is to see how the tree grows and to decandle at the “normal” time after the new growth comes out.

The big question is when the new growth will appear. If the tree starts growing in December, you might try decandling early next year.

Hi Joel,

I was wondering if the three would go through its dormancy period with the climate of Puerto Rico. I am not sure, I have heard stories of people been able to grow some other trees that require dormancy in the mountains of the island. Can you keep us updated on this tree? Is purely scientific curiosity.

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Thanks you very much Jonas