Did i damaged my austrian black pine?

I am afraid i damaged my Austrian black pine.

I got this pine in 2018 (first picture)

In the first year I did just a bit of styling and prepped it up with fertilizer.

Last year (2020) i gave it heavy fertilizer and decandled it.

It produced a lot of new strong shoots (second picture)

This spring (2021) i shoot selected and it got no fertilizer at all.

The new growth got really strong and long.

So I was watching Ryan’s videos about how to handle these pines over and over again.

If I am not mistaking, you are not suppose to decandle a nigra every year like a JBP you

treat it like a longe needle single flush pine.

Well, so i shortened all too long shoots after they have hardened off the second week of July.

But now nothing happens.

So i am afraid the new shoots will die maybe I have pruned them too early ??

Is there anything I can do?

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My experience is that they will now push back buds as we move into fall. Most will be at the base of the new candle or below. Occasionally there will be some along the new candle that was cut back. I would fertilize lightly to make sure the tree has the supplemental nutrients needed to produce a good flush of buds.


I thought the new buds will appear at the shoots I did cut back, at the needle base of
this year growth?
"Occasionally there will be some along the new candle that was cut back"
If that is the case then I am in trouble, because I did cut back almost all new shoots to the desired length.

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Austrian Black Pine (P. nigra) tends to bud base of the shoots that are cut back and the shoot then dies back. This is different from Japanese Black Pine (P. thunbergii) which will bud at the cut site when cut back at the right time. As a result, the main reason to cut ABP shoots to different lengths (or all to the same length) is to balance energy rather than shape the tree. Yes there will be some shaping implications based upon leaving them different lengths since the shoots next year will have different strengths, but it is not nearly as well defined as on JBP.


Thanks Marty,
So I guess I need to wait and see what happens…

I will report back how it goes.

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If im correct there are 2 things that go wrong:

  1. Shoot selection should be done in autumn, when the growth of the second flush has hardened and cut back to two or one

  2. You must fertilize before decandling, last application of organic fertilizer 1 month before decandling. Since u decandled on the latter side of the spectrum, July, you could apply at least 3 times before decandling. 2 at least recommended

Edit: the reason the new growth was long has probably to do with the fact you didnt shoot select in autumn but did it in spring. All energy that was stored over the fall, pushes in the remaining shoots in the growing season


Hey Michael,

thanks for the answer.

about 1) watching Ryan’s videos on Nigra he stated shoot selection in fall if you can’t protect the tree in the
greenhouse over the winter time, otherwise to be done in spring of next year.

about 2) That how i did it, fertilized heavy throughout the year till 4 weeks before decandling.
The result has beed lots of buds and actually the new shoots began to elongate before
fall already.
I gave the tree no more fertilizer after decandling it until I did the mistake and cut the shoots

Anyway, Rayan mentioned in the nigra videos the period after decandling a nigra you should treat them
like long needle single flush pines.
I searched in the library and the only contend about pruning long needle single flush pines was about
five needle pines.
So i figured I go with this information. Five needle pines get pruned after they hardened off and drop their sheets in mid July.
My nigra did so too, so I thought the time is right.
This was probably the mistake.

So right now I feel like their is some important information missing about nigra which I can not find
on the Mirai Plattform.
“when is the correct time to prune back long new shoots on a nigra pine”??

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I thought i read that u stated that i got no fertilizer this spring before decandling

Anyway, cutting back shoots and leaving some portion of the new needles i think should be done in 2nd week of August so there will be buds for next year


Hi Michael,

thanks for the info of timing.
I just hope somehow the nigra will produce some Bude at the cut side anyway.
Lets cross fingers :grinning:

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Hi Sven,

No problem.
I have to edit my last post a bit about timing because i am not sure when a Nigra hardens off.

Can u tell me when a Nigra hardens off if you don’t decandle?

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If I go by the indicators I have learned at Mirai, sheets drop, Sharpe needles, rich color my Nigra
hardened off mid of July.
But I am not sure if I was correct with my assumptions, that’s the actual problem!

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Ah ok then i have to edit my post because when u see the needles hardening off, thats when u can shorten the shoots that didnt got decandled, leaving some portion of the new needles and then u will get buds for next year.
Parts of the tree that got decandled will harden off later and should not be shortened. You will cut those back to 2 or 1 and leave them without shortening.

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IF these are done as long needle single flush pines this is how I do my Ponderosas: about this time of year I either shorten new growth or remove unneeded extra sprouts and fertilize heavily(twice a week) until Fall and cold wet weather when I quit watering. By this time I will be seeing new buds showing for Spring where I cut back. As I remember this is Ryans instruction. I suggest heavy fertilizing and see what happens. Should be good results.

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Thanks for the feedback😀
I think i need to be more patient.

I will report back as soon i see any changes become visible.

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alright, it worked out well.
I getting new buds on all cut sites and even some buds along some branches :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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