Pinus nigra process diagram by season

Just finished watching the 3 Pinus nigra (Austrian Black Pine) videos, and doing my best to capture the basics of the process in visual form. Understanding that we always take an action for a specific purpose, I still think it might be helpful to have a cliffs notes version of the key points, to jog memory. Please feel free to murder board this chart for any errors or additional key points that should be added. Obviously, as a simple chart, this will never be all inclusive, but hope that it gets us close. Possibly some more info on exact timing (I.e., after 3rd year needle drop, etc.) Also, probably need to just rewatch all the videos two or three more times.



Very nice. I like it a lot and saved it. My comments are:

  • I had the impression that you are jumping back into development if you plan to pump it up enough to decandle.
  • It might be nice to define standard and elevated winter care. According to Bonsai Heresy the root zone kill temp for P. nigra is 15F (-9C) so that might be standard while elevated might be light freezes.
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@MartyWeiser thanks for the feedback. I was scratching my head about preparation for a second decandling. Makes sense that you might need to do a full year of fattening up before going back into a decandling. I guess you would go back to the same decision point based on vigor in early summer. Nice to know root temps as well, I’ll definitely add that into the chart.

I really like this. Someone did a similar one page summary of ‘wiring’ a little while ago. In the military we called these aide memoires (forgive incorrect French spelling), having a really good structure laid out to jog your memory and give you something to work with, deviating as necessary. Thanks for creating this.

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My only lingering questions regard the timing on decandling and shoot selection. Maybe I’ll hear it on a rewatch.

  1. Decandling in mid/late July. A true double flush would be decandled in early June (Northern Hemisphere) based on vigor, latitude, and local climate. Thinking that since we are only developing new buds vs. whole hardened new candles, we need about a month less time in the latter half of the year. Edited to add : right at the beginning of the decandling video he says it’s two reasons. 1) a colder spring, 2) to develop more energy to sustain the momentum through fall during bud development and into the following spring when the new candles emerge.

  2. Shoot selection in mid June. Expected time for shoot selection would be later in the year, for a typical pine development cycle. My thought here is that we are conducting the procedure in mid June because of the extreme profusion of budding at the decandling location. If allowed to go much longer, inverse taper would develop. Pruning down to pairs prevents knuckles. It also appeared that Ryan possibly selected more than one pair of shoots per decandling location, in the same season. To me, it looked like the terminal node was so broad that a natural “mini-internode” could be formed between pairs of shoots, by selecting at separated locations around the new whorl of buds. It seems he used the characteristic inverse taper of P. nigra to his advantage and created bonus internodes out of the swollen node, which runs counter to the early shoot selection. I guess it comes down to timing/taking action for a defined reason (i.e., let the shoots grow until the site size is appropriate to support the desired appearance of branching sites.)


Minute 29:30 to 35:15 of the shoot selection video is pure gold.