Short vs long needle behaviour

I understand the differences of behaviour in the single vs multi flush pines. It’s hyper self explanatory. While long and short needle sound simple, where is the cut off and what are the behavioural differences, and our best response to those behaviours. I’ve watched most of the pine content in the library, or at least for the species I have access too. Maybe it’s explained deep in a lodgepole pine stream.

Appreciate guidance!

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I can’t remember the full demarcation of short vs. long needle, but P. parviflora and sylvestris are both short needle. One of the main differences is that in refinement that the candles of short needle pines are pinched back as they expand to control the length of growth and balance energy. The new shoots of long needle pines are cut back after they harden off (but not too late in the season).

I have pinched sylvestris very successfully and due to some confusion on my part used the same technique on P. nigra with sucess even though it is an outlier species that will sometimes act like a multiflush pine.

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So the distinction is based on the technique ( pinch or post flush cut)… but unless I am missing something wouldn’t that be redundant with the multi flush_single flush terminology?

Multi flush pines have the potential to be pinched…to induce another flush

Single flush pines can not be pinched but the energy of next years flush can be reduced by post harden cutting.

I must be missing something. Can anyone try explaining what I missing?

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I might go back and watch the oldest long needle pine content and see if it’s covered as a fundamental.

Aside- How sick would a searchable transcription database be? We could also count the occurrence of the word ‘nuance’ for funsies… Aleppo Pine? That’s a 17 nuance pine. RMJ? 34 nuance Juniper…

I kid :smiley:

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Funny you mention that. I thought about hooking an AI “Scribe” ( note taker) I have for work up to record the streams. It would give me a transcript plus any analytics imaginable

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The candles on Multiflush pines are cut off leaving a very short (3 mm) stub with no needles. Even very weak candles on trees in refinement are cut. A strong tree will produce both back buds and new shoots that grow that year.

The candles on short needle pines are pinched back by 1/4 to 3/4 of their length leaving some needles. Strong candles are pinched more than weak ones. Very weak ones are not pinched. A strong tree will produce back buds and buds at the pinch site that will push next year.

The new shoots on long needle pines are cut back by 1/4 to 3/4 once they harden off. This will result in back buds (some of which will be in the new needles), but will not result in buds at the cut point.

Marty without memorizing the species and their connection to the technique used for long or short needle is there anyway to identify visually if a species is long or short needle?

For example the single flush vs multiflush is based on the environment these trees evolved in. Multiflush pines come from environments that have a condition, situation or environmental in influence that caused needles to be lost regularly halfway through the season. Black Pines and the tsunami season knocking off the first flush of growth, those that produced a second flush were at a huge advantage and over time they become more prevalent.

If I did not memorize pinus strobus is a long needle single flush pine is there a way to identify it is a “long needle” the above explains one way of hypothesizing of a species is single or multi? Does the actual needle length have anything to do with it and of so what are the benchmarks for this?

Or does it connect more to “water mobility” long needle can not move resources as quickly as short needle…the storage capacity is the indicator and the visual reference is a bit subjective and it’s best to memorize it?

Does the question make sense?

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I believe the distinction is based upon behavior rather than appearance, so memorization (or a handy list) is the only real option. However, there is a tendency for the actual needle length to be an indicator which is why the terms were chosen.


Thanks all, great info

Also, identify and make a list of the OUTLYER pines… Those that need special rules to follow… Ponderosa, Austrian black pine (P. nigra), etc. Seek them out!

Mirai just did a blog post on this topic which is very timely.


Put it out there and the universe delivers. :slight_smile:
Ryan keeps mentioning Pinus radiata as common in Australia but in my state and a couple of hundred kilometres south it’s Pinus elliotti all the way. I know it’s not a common subject, but it’s the only option I’ll have for collecting. Time to start experimenting :smiley: