Afghan Pine (Pinus Eldarica) Initial Design

I got this tree as a gift this December.


It’s the first pine that I’m going to put through the design process. I’ve kept a smaller Afghan for a year now, and discovered that they do very well in my summer heat, and grow very well the rest of the year, but this is the first one that I actually style. I think I’m pretty good with the horticulture. That being said, I’ve been watching all of the pine streams I can find, and want to make sure that I’m getting some things straight.

As far as a design concept, considering the straight trunk, and the somewhat lack of taper, I was thinking of going with something like this (not mine, btw):


So chop a little over 1/3 up the trunk, turn the chop into something like the picture above, and needle pluck to balance the branches below the chop.

This is what I’m planning on doing, to get the tree there.

The tree will need to get re-potted after the chop, but before I go pruning. My understanding is that if I repot before styling, the tree will have more foliage to recover, and therefore do better. Hopefully I can get the tree into the right size pot on the first go through.

Once the tree has recovered from the repot, I go through the first styling I don’t want to do more than one major working on the tree every year. It really seems to weaken my trees and even kills them when I do more than one major work in the year. I’d rather take it slow and keep it alive.

Here’s something that is going to be tough to work out though…


All of the branches on the tree only come out of three different whorls, the top one is where I would be making the chop, or forming an apex if I don’t go with the initial concept. If I remove all the “wrong” branches off the whorls, I won’t have enough foliage to keep the tree alive. Do I just leave some bar branches and deal with the possible inverse taper later? Afhgans do back bud easily, but I don’t want to wait for years until I get better branching.

I’m at a real loss on how to deal with that. That’s really where I’m looking for your help!

After the repot and that initial styling, I take care of the pine the way that Ryan talks about in his mulit-flush pine classes.

Any help you could give this pine newb would be appreciated!

Can we get some detail shots of the base with the branches pulled back?

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Here’s a 180 of the base of the tree. It has a pretty small, but even buttress. Unless there is something amazing under the soil, that’s what I’m working with.



Funny looking thing to the left of the base on that first picture was just a small, thin piece of cloth sticking out of the soil.

At this point, I’m mostly looking for advice on how to handle the bar branches without leaving the tree without enough needles.

Found the base. Couldn’t fit it in the mica pot I wanted, but got it down enough to where I’ll be able to in a few years. Aftercare, and styling next year!

So how do you treat am Afghan pine? Outlyer ? Or long needle single flush?