My Black Pine next steps


So I bought this JBP in a weakened state last year (it wasn’t even in a pot at the nursery) Lat year all I did to it was pot it and let it grow. It was protected in winter and this year I have also just let it grow. now I have healthy long green needles on top of old week short 1 and 2 year needles as you can see from the pictures.

and close ups

Now my question is, would you cut off this years growth to last years needles hoping for adventurous buds at the node closer to the trunk or would you pull the 1 and 2 year old needles and hope for back budding. I’m contentious this tree is still in recovery mode so I’m leaning toward pulling old needles this winter and wire. what do you think?

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I would be inclined to keep all the foliage for now. I would wire out where possible to let the sunlight into the interior and remove only the oldest weakest needles leaving this years and last years needles for now.
The previous two years of weaker needles means the roots need recovery time beyond the first year after repot in my opinion.
Long term i think the progress will be faster if the tree continues to gain in vigor prior to working it back for refinement purposes.
Others may have a different approach. Difficult to judge from pictures.

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I’m with Frank - I’d let the tree gain vigor for the whole season and look to push back buds next year.

Also, the light yellow at the base of the needles is a common sign of over-watering - could this be the case?

Thanks for your relays. I’ll pull some old needles and wire it out and see how it responds, a much safer option.

The pot is quite tight for the tree so I haven’t really thought about over watering… It did however have quite a thick layer of moss around the trunk (growing half way up it) that I have now taken off with white vinegar, I don’t know if this could have been a factor? I will keep a closer eye on the watering as well. Thanks for the suggestions

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The moss isn’t likely a factor, but it could make it tricky to determine whether or not the soil need water. It’s great for preserving roots near the surface.