Pinus sylvestris browning tips after wiring

Hi all,
I’ve been a member of mirai live for over a year but don’t usually ask questions… but now I need some advice!

My Scott’s pine which I collected 4 years ago is now looking strong and healthy enough to work on and so 2 weeks ago I started work on wiring it. I’m about 1/2 way up the tree now with the wire, and a few days ago I noticed some of the wired branch tips are dying. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re too thin to be wired, too much sun exposure, I just don’t know. The tree was in sun for most of the day, but now the branches are laid out it may have increased the exposure? All of the unwired branches and most of the wired branches are doing ok but as you’ll see in the images, some of them are not happy.

Any advice is much appreciated.


In the UK.

When bending branches with wire, you are damaging the cambium, it helps to put the tree in a shadier location after bending for a bit. The branches can’t move water as efficiently after bending branches so keeping in full sun can be harmful. My guess is that the browning has something to do with this.

1 Like

Also, wiring over the course of two weeks probably isn’t a good strategy either. Have you been adjusting the already wired parts every couple days during this process? Constantly readjusting wired branches won’t let them heal, so once you wire one branch and set its position, don’t touch it again. If you haven’t been doing that, still, wiring one tree over such a long period of time seems like a lot of unnecessary stress. I feel it’s better to get it done quicker so the tree can rest and heal.

1 Like

Hi mike, thanks for the advice!
I’ve wired 7 branches so far. I did 3 branches on day 1, then 1 or 2 branches a day for the next 3 or 4 days… I’ve not revisited any of the branches after the initial wiring and the browning needles aren’t necessarily on a branch that has been bent heavily. But I think you’re probably right about the full sun after wiring. I’ll move it somewhere… the tree in its pot is around 8 feet tall! Which is why it’s taken a while. No excuses will change the trees reaction to my treatment of it I know. :+1:

Ah, I was thinking it didn’t look like you bent it super aggressively! But wasn’t sure… hmm. It may be something else entirely but maybe put it in morning sun and a some afternoon shade and see if it stabilizes a bit? That’s the best advice I can offer.

The individual branchlets do not look real strong.This is a long shot, but you can try tipping the pot so the branches are more upright. Might get some phototropism going. It is fall so the tree will start to uptake more water. Mine have started already.

Good luck

I’ve moved the tree into morning sun / afternoon shade and I’ve angled the structural branches coming from the trunk up a bit so the pads are a little further from horizontal.
This has been a very useful discussion for me, funny how a short conversation can give you options when before I was just looking at it cluelessly! Thanks for your help guys!

My instinct(and comments made by Ryan and elsewhere)says you are wiring the wrong time of year and likely killing the cambium. Conifers are normally done late fall/Winter to late Winter, Normally:wink:.

1 Like

Hi William, I started work on this tree in August after watching the “traditional Design” stream which is a sylvestris and was posted on 7th August!

If there’s contradictory info please let me know where… I’ve probably watched it but I tend to only remember the last video I saw :joy:



another thought I’ve had is that I’ve weakened the lower half of the tree by pruning and wiring. By leaving the top half of the tree unpruned and unwired, the lower half is unable to compete for resources?

Hi Mike, you should never bend Silvestris during hot season. Wait for late fall or better winter.