Black Pine doubt

Good day all,

I acquire a Black Pine this summer and I did in July a shoot selection. Later on I fertilize in autumn and was waiting for the second growth to do a second shoot selection. However the second growth never open up, making my pine has long candles (as you can see in the pictures). So, right now I don’t know if I could cut some despite never open up or I should keep waiting and candle pruning in June. Did new candles come in spring? How and where?

Thanks a lot.

Your shoot selection in July was probably too late in the year for the candles to open. June is the more common in the Northern hemisphere. In addition, you really need to build it up in the spring to get a good second growth. I would cut back to two candles and proceed with spring fertilization and an earlier decandling.

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Thanks Marty.

You mean let them open and then cut and prune in June?

Assuming you want to refine the tree, cut back to 2 of similar strength at each terminal and then cut the candles off in June. Cutting back to two will help balance the tree’s energy for the push next spring, particularly if you take off the really strong candles.

Great!! Thanks a lot

Where in the world are you? In parts of the UK and Europe two flushes from black pines can be awkward.

I’m in Spain, in Valencia.

I don’t know your weather pattern for sure but I would assume it is warm enough with good sunlight to get the double flush unlike here in England where it is unreliable. Maybe search for any videos by David Benavente or Luis Vallejo to be certain?

Yes, it’s pure Mediterranean weather with mild winters and hot summers. David and Luis are in Madrid where the weather pattern is continental one, so some differences could happen as well. However the question for me is if those candles are a successful second growth or a failed second growth indeed.

Nevertheless I’m going to cut just the huge ones, letting the more homogenous and balanced candles for this spring for then cutting them in June and see if I can get the second smaller growth opened before autumn for the shoot selection.


When u decandled in july which I agree could be too late depending where u r did u needle pluck as well. If you didnt reduce enough as well as balance energy I wonder if this also played a role in the new shoots not opening this year. Even doing it in july u would think they would atleast open somewhat or be very small shoots in the late fall. Also the tree was probably being fertilized prior to u purchasing it. U.need to cease all fertilization a month prior to decandling. Otherwise ur just feeding energy back into the system and the tree will have no need to create a second flush. All these things really do matter to be successful. But it does seem u atleast have buds set for next spring. Just try it again next year no big deal. Oh ya one last thing what kind of pot or container r u in because u want to do refinement techniques usually once ur in a smaller pot because the root reduction and root scaling ramification that occurs will further support these techniques in reducing needle size and bifurcation etc

Could it be that it’s an austrian black pine not a JPB?
I decandle my black pines in mid or late June and I live in a much colder region in Europe, with cold long springs and ocasionaly extra cold winter days.
I always get a second flush that hardens around November-ish.
Other then that, the only reason I could think of for not pushing is that the pine ran out of energy.
I had the same thing happen to a mugo that I repotted to late in spring. The candles elongated but never opened, hey dried up and eventually fell off and got replaced next spring.

Well just from these images it looks like a black pine to me. Do you have any images of the whole tree as well. Strange though since everything is done as you say maybe you should decandle earlier with this one and give a heavier feed in the early spring. Can u tell if it has been decandled in the past and maybe not had a break in awhile. It’s too hard to tell how it was treated from these close up images only. This is very interesting though so I look forward to hearing more
Also I think there is way too much needle count behind these buds. They had no reason to open because they had plenty of energy behind them. I dont think it was because of a lack of energy at all. I think it was because it had an excess of energy. If it lacked energy they would probably be really small growth needles in my experiences.

Really interesting Ricky what you say about maybe excessive strength. The truth is that I acquired the Black pine in July and I have no clue what in the nursery they could have done with it. I immediately shoot selected for the desired structure because it had excessive shoot of big, long needles and waited until September for two. months of heavy fertilization. The pine is in a tokoname pot.

I think that what I have to do this year is to keep it strong in spring and let open the first flush and in June cut all the candles and pluke needles and see how responds.

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I’m sure this is JBP, but I have another pinus nigra planted in the ground in the same situation. Lots of candles never opened buy I think this is a matter of the soil and I will pot it before spring to try to save it.

I don’t think it’s a soil issue, last year’s needles look healthy. In my experience if a plant is healthy and has excess energy plus if the timing is right it will always add more foliage and grow, no matter the how much foliage it has currently.
If it’s not an energy problem then it could only be a timing issue. You could try decandeling earlier.