How can I redistribute energy to lower parts of this Scot’s pine? Did I miss my pruning window this year? The crown shows much vigor. At this stage of development what are some tips for what to do next?
You need to get really good strong overall growth first. My Scots pines of this age will put out shoots that are 10 cm long in a pot if left unchecked. Once I get the strong growth, I then cut them back leaving about 7-10 needle pairs. This combination gets the sap flowing really strong up the tree and then disrupts both the flow to the tips and the production of auxin which suppresses the growth of the lower branches. The other benefit is that it will normally result in lots of back budding. I would fertilize fairly heavily with organic fertilizer this year to really build up the tree. The other thing you might consider is rewiring with the wire at a greater angle so it has more holding power and exposes more of the trunk for back budding.