Assistance from community explaining collected Lodgepole from California pushing new needles

Mid September and this lodgepole is pushing a new growth of needles. Here are some relevant facts:

  • Tree was collected in California mountains and is in a bonsai container
  • The new needle growth is happening over the whole tree
  • the tree appears healthy and not stressed in any way
  • 3rd year needles have fallen, 2nd year needles have some browning, 1st year needles look normal
  • It does not appear to be pushing any new candles
  • Tree is in development, with heavy fertilization happening all spring and summer
  • Tree was repotted with some light root pruning in February
  • Tree was lightly cleaned and wired in August to help promote better light and air flow
  • Tree is back budding
  • I think there is sufficient time for needles to push before freezing

I am hoping the community can help me understand and learn more regarding this species ! I am assuming

  1. This is a single flush pine
  2. That the definition of flush includes needles and candles

Can anyone say if this is normal or exceptional behavior ? If exceptional, offer some explanation given the info above ?

Thanks very much …


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Lodgepole will push out two flushes some years when fed well in captivity, even up here in Washington. Last year almost all of my lodgepoles (around 15) had pushed a 2nd flush by now. This year they might still…but I suspect not. Last year we had a lot more sun than this year.

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Thanks for replying. I would love to see a couple pics of some of your Lodgepoles.


Did they push needles and candles ?

They pushed new needles of normal lengths but fewer per candle than the first flush and they pushed new candles for the following (this) spring.

I’m still working on my wiring skills, but here’s a few of mine in various stages of undress.

This one is really big and has great deadwood at the base. The root base is massive and since collecting it I’ve done two major root reductions during the past two spring seasons (it was collected spring 2017). When I can picture it in a pot maybe I’ll try styling it.

One of the little guys (it’s been tweaked further since the styled photo to modify the long straight branch):

Like so many contorta, this one had a really nice base with one straight tendril curving upwards. I’m really impressed without much bending and wedge cutting these can take in stride. It too has been tweaked further since the styled photo.

This little guy will make a nice shohin someday:


Omg, these are beautiful!!!

Wow… thanks for sharing those, and thanks for the information.


Looks like the tree is healthy :+1:t2:
This doesn’t pertain to your question.
We are here on this forum to help one another so don’t take this in a bad way.
The first thing my eye went to in the first picture was the wire. Especially the lower right branch, coiling the wire around the branch like a spring is ineffective. Like @ryan talks about the less wire we put on our trees better. I’m sure you noticed when trying to put any movement in that branch that it did not hold its shape and it kept “springing” back.Your wire should have a consistent 55 to 60 degrees of angle to the branch in order to be effective. Also that much wire will constrict the growth and nullify any chances of back budding to occur.
If you haven’t watch these already.
Practice Practice Practice :metal:t2::evergreen_tree:


Thanks for that very much

It’s actually 2 wires, I tried to double down on the first go after I could not get the bend I was looking for.

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I just went out and found a few of my trees that are pushing a 2nd flush this year. It’s like, there’s always a candle. When first flush breaks out there’s the start of a candle at the tip forming right away, the candle elongates a little as the needles elongate, 2nd flush comes from the bottom of that candle and the candle keeps growing as the 2nd flush elongates. I think I remember Ryan saying something about the second flush actually being latent needles from the first flush that the tree decides to push out because it has some energy to spare before fall.

Here is how the candles look right now.

I can see that its 2 wires. If you need to double up your wires, either R&R or use a guy wire.
Copper has a lot more holding power than aluminum, but if applied like a coiled spring it will react the same as the aluminum wire. Your wiring game will have to be on point as the copper will work harden and it will be a real chore to remove or rewire with the same piece
I would remove them and start over with 4 gauge copper to get some movement in that branch.
“Practice makes perfect” :evergreen_tree::metal:t2::grinning:

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