JBP-Development Main Candle

This JBP is in development, my goal is to thicken the trunk and create a Bunjin style tree. Do I cut the main candle at the upper whirl of the tree, keep the main candle and remove the smaller ones or keep them all and keep the tree as is ?

I was actually just refreshing my JBP knowledge. Trying to gear up for June. I don’t want to butcher the info though. Ryan does a good job of explaining the nuances in this stream. Whiteboard session is early in the stream.


I would keep them all and let them all grow without cutting the candles this season. If there are areas that are in refinement, you may decandle only those select areas. The current apex is very underdeveloped and could use some development of primary branches.

Leave them be this growing season and when they harden off this fall, wire them down and start the formation of the apex using this years candle as the backbone that will next year start forming your pads.

The following spring would be something like this. Branches that will be refined should be needle plucked across the tree to balance strength in those areas. Fertilize, water and let grow till summer when you plan to decandle. When you decandle leave the apex untouched if the tree still needs thickening, start planning the formation of another apex to continue the process. The branches that are decandled should also be plucked to balance strength across those areas. Again the apex should remain largely untouched. Needles can be plucked if they are shading lower branches and it can be wired as well to add movement or whatever.

Repeat, repeat, repeat until you have achieved your desired thickening. You may also consider using multiple sacrifice branches to further thicken the trunk and branches.

If the primary goal is thickening of the trunk and strength, leave all the candles and let them all grow unless it is creating a structural flaw in an area you will potentially use in your final design.

More foliage => more vascular growth => more roots => more energy storage => more potential for back budding and strength manipulation

Thickening for Bunjin adds a lot of nuances, though.

  • Do you have more bending to do? Get it done now while you still can.
  • How much thickness are you trying to add?
  • Are you trying to get back budding at or near that last curve to transition to?
  • Have you considered transitioning to that upper branch as your new apex and adding more movement to it?