Mountain Hemlock

Anyone with experience pruning/ styling Montain Hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana)? Are they treated as an elongating species? When can they be worked, pruned? I have heard that if you cut the leader at the wrong time of year the tree will die? Any info would be great.

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It is an elongating species. I’ve never heard Ryan give any warnings about not cutting the leader (I took two years of his elongating species course). The best time to style is as the buds are swelling, or just showing a little green. Hemlocks back bud profusely, so in development, prune to a bud to achieve the desired shape. In refinement, pinch off most of an opening bud to maintain the shape.

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Great, thank you High-N-Dry! Very helpful.

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You said ‘hemlocks backbud profusely’ - my understanding this is just the opposite, that they really don’t backbud at all.

https://live.bonsaimirai.com/archive/video/mountain-hemlock-design
This video is helpful if you haven’t already watched it.

In that stream, Ryan mentions twice that they don’t back bud well because of their age ( yamadori with barked up branches, at least that was my understanding) .In the hemlock workshop with Hagedorn, he said they really didn’t back bud.