Hello everyone, my japanese white pine is almost ready to work on. But it makes this really long internodes… Can I cut these all the way back when time is there? Thanks a lot
My understanding is that if you completely cut off the shoot you will probably not get buds at the cut site. Better is to cut the shoot back to a small number of needles (about 6-8 bundles) and you will get buds at the cut site and most likely back buds. Yes, the long bare bits are ugly, but you should be able to cut them off in a year or so.
I would wire the branches first, use the existing needle mass to build strength -> back buds -> new needle mass on the interior. Then I would cut back to the needle mass on the interior once it is strong enough and is significant in quantity vs. what you are cutting off.
I can’t see in the photo properly but consider whether the pot is too large allowing too much energy storage during autumn/fall leading to over extension in the spring. I think the other contributors are correct in suggesting wiring out and then cutting back to inner buds. Post harden pruning would then come into play to maintain the silhouette reducing the capacity to build up too much strength again.
In summary wire out this autumn prune out any structural flaws then repot in spring and take advantage of new buds as they appear.