Should I decandle this JBP?


Last winter I bought this young JBP . I’ve decide to build the tree from one of the lower branches but to keep the current top as sacrifice branch . I’m debating if to decandle the bottom branches to encourage back budding ; the branches are getting very leggy. However , I did half bare rooted the tree this spring, there are some needle cast and the candles aren’t the tallest . Should I wait or decandle? If I need to decandle, should I wait longer for the needles to harden ?

<img src="/uploads/db1401/original/1X/e1b760e8fccc69e451a61d4f9ff1d0c6d986f023.JPG" width=“375” height=“500”>

In general, I don’t like decandling if the spring needles haven’t fully emerged. Short needles are often a sign of weakness and are common after severe repotting.

I’m curious which branch you’ll be using to continue the trunk line. If it’s one of the lower ones, I might remove some branches above it to ensure it gets good light.

Hi Jonas ,

The upper one among the bottom group will probably be the new leader .

Would you have decandle this tree or should I wait one more season?

I’ve worked on a number of pines that look similar to this one. My approach is to select a branch to become the new leader and then look to see if I can tilt the tree when I next repot to avoid the trunk rising straight up from the pot. Once I’ve figured out the new angle, I can wire the new leader, if need be, into place.

When the new leader is big enough, I’ll remove the growth above it and then let the new leader grow freely to heal the wound left by the sacrifice branch.

Unless I need to balance vigor or generate needle buds, I don’t decandle until the trunk reaches the desired size.

I want to decandle the bottom branches (but leave the sacrifice running) so to prevent them running leggy and without ramification for too long, while waiting for the trunk to size up. My approach I thought (and wasn’t sure) was to leave the sacrifice upper part but begin training the bottom part. but I’m not sure the tree is strong enough or not.

I’ve had hit and miss results with the let-half-grow-while-decandling-the-other-half approach. If there’s too big a gap in strength between the sacrifice branches and the keepers, the keepers may not bud back after decandling until the following year. The trick is getting the ratio right between the decandled and not decandled branches.

Another option is decandling the whole tree. It slows the tree down but speeds development of the lower section.

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