Lack of taper in my Scots pine

I have a Scots pine that I did some engineering on to introduce some movement into a straight section of trunk. I put two subtle bends into it (notched) and grew out the top to help set the changes. Having removed the sacrifice (top) I’m wondering whether I should stick with the trunk with no taper or bite the bullet and just replace it with a branch that I kept from the second whorl and just grow that out. Given that it might not become a world class tree should I maximise the structure that I have at the current top or lose it and start over?

It really never pays to keep crappy structure.
That upper section will degrade the quality of the better parts of the tree. Off with his head!

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I agree, better to chop it off and start again. You’ll only regret it if you don’t…

Great! At least I learnt how (not) to do wedge cuts :slight_smile:

Thanks @Keith-in-UK and @ryan.marin for your feedback

Strength in a pine comes from the roots. The last repot was two years ago so assuming half the growth is in the top half, to be removed, I will get ~twice the energy going into the bottom half and new leader if I make the cut now . I’ll fashion a Jin to see how it looks or if all else fails just to help it heal.


Wouldn’t it be better to first let it grow more vigorous and get back buds all over the bottom branches before chopping 50% off?
I would advise to let it grow vigorously first, transfer energy to the bottom section and then chop.

This is an interesting point that I don’t know the answer to. On one hand it makes sense but there is also the idea that if the roots stored an amount of energy ‘x’ last autumn then the bottom half post-cut would now receive twice the energy it would otherwise. As it is, the cut was made. The structure does look much improved to my eye at least. I’m also pleased to say that this years growth is very well balanced across the tree. The tree will be allowed to gain the strength to produce back buds now. I can update this autumn to advise on the scale of that.

one argument is that you need a good amount of foliage to drive the recovery of the roots. If your energy amount of x is below what the tree really needs then taking out buds would not be the best approach in my mind.