September, 2007, after candle-cutting in 3 stages. New needleshave emerged from 2nd flush ofcandles. Most of the wires appliedin March have been removed; guywires pull down main branches
Calendar of Work on a Pine• Spring:– When candles elongate, break off part of thestrong candles so all candles appear thesame length.– Reduce the number of candles on eachbranch tip so they emerge in pairs.
Candles elongating afterfirst transplanting into abonsai pot.April 2008
After pinching candles sothey are the same length.
• Summer:– When candles are open, remove themcompletely. Do this in 3 phases at 2-weekintervals. Remove weak candles first,medium candles second, strong candles last.– Remove some of last year‟s needles fromstrong areas to allow sunlight to penetrate tothe interior of the treeCalendar of Work on a Pine
Removing This Year‟s CandlesThis Year‟s CandleLast Year‟s GrowthThis year‟s candleis green incolor…last year‟sshoot is tan.
Removing This Year‟s CandlesRemove ThisYear‟s Candle atthe base. CUTPERPINDICULARto the branch(Straight Across)!
Removing This Year‟s CandlesDone. If this cutisn‟t perpendicularto the branch, theside with less stubremaining will growa stronger candleand the branch willgrow unbalanced.
Removing This Year‟s Candles15 days later, 7/1.New buds areappearing from thepruned branches.Reduce to 2opposed buds ofequal size(creating forkedramification)Now that the weakbranches have ahead start onforming newbuds…Time toprune Medium-strength areas.
Removing This Year‟s Candles30 days later, 7/16.New buds arebecoming candles.Feed well and letthem grow.
Phase 1: 6/15/08Remove this year‟s candles from the weakareas of the tree, and some of last year‟sneedles from the strong areas of the tree.
Phase 1…6/15/08. Justbefore cutting weakcandles first (watch lowerright branch)
Phase 2: 7/1/08New buds have formed on recently-prunedweak branches. Now, remove this year‟scandles from medium-strength areas of tree.
After removing candlesfrom main left branch, andsecondary left and rightbranches.
After removing uppercandles. Only this year‟sstrong candles at the apexremain. In 2 weeks, theywill be removed.
Phase 3: 7/16/08New buds are opening on recently-prunedweak branches, and medium-strengthcandles have been removed. Finally, removethe strong candles from the tree.Before removing this year‟sstrong candles at the apex.
After removing this year‟sstrong candles at the apex.
After thinning out the apex.Whorls of shoots weretrimmed back to pairs;some needles werethinned out to balance thestrength of the tree.
As new buds emerge, pinchexcess buds so they remainin pairs. In the fall, removelast year‟s needles (all of theneedles that are showing inthis photo), and leave onlythe ones that will growbetween now and fall.
9/24/08, 70 days afterremoving strong candles, and100 days after beginning thecandle-cutting process.Weak areas have candlesbearing short needles,medium areas are bearingcandles, and strong areasare budding. In October,Remove old needles.
10/14/08, 4 months afterbeginning the candle-cuttingprocess. Remove last year‟sneedles. Due to candle-cutting, this year‟s needlesare 1” long, a 65-75%reduction in size.
October 18, 2008, slightlymore than 4 months after thefirst candle-cutting phase. Allold needles are removed andbranches are wired intoplace. The work is done forthis year.
3/28/09, before equalizing thelength of emerging candles.
5/13/09, as candles areopening. Note relativelyequal size throughout thetree
6/1/09, candles are open.This tree took 100 days toopen new candles aftercandle-cutting in 2008.Counting backwards to givethem just enough time toopen, candle-cutting starts7/1/09
Phase 1: 7/1/09Candle-cutting begins. Remove weakcandles from tree. Wait 2 weeks and removethe rest.
7/1/09. Candles are open,and it is time to begin candle-cutting. It is important not todo it too early in the summer.Begin the process so that thetree has just enough time togrow new candles, but notlong needles.
12/30/10 after wiring branches and moving crown to the right
Change of Plan…• Great tree, but extremely “textbook” and predictable• From the front, the tree looks great; from the sidesseveral flaws become apparent– Upper branches protrude from the profile– Lower branches are pulled around to fill voids– Trunk has awkward and artificial bend– Base is OK at best• Over the last couple years, another front started tobecome intriguing; one off the back-left corner of thepot…and one that would solve every one of theseissues, and with very minor “tweaks”• SO…