Needles on JBP failing to fully emerge from sheath

I have an in-ground JBP that was planted in landscape in May a couple of years ago. Initial flush had been decandled prior to planting (had been in pot), then selectively decandled in fall. The following spring, decandled again, but the candles in the second flush never fully developed. The needles stopped emerging from the sheaths so the tips are barely barely out of the sheath and the needles themselves are bent in half (never straightened out). The needles are nice and green, though, and I can’t find any evidence of mites or anything. Obviously, I left the tree alone in terms of not touching the second flush growth, and hoping that this spring’s first flush will be normal. Any ideas as to what caused this? Anyone seen this before?
Any input appreciated …

This is what I’ve seen in the UK where the climate is not suited to de-budding. The following spring my trees recovered but had a weak year.

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