Single Flush Pine Pruning

I think it’s time for my pines to get some pruning done. The growth has hardened off and now it’s time to give them a cut.

But after working on junipers for so long the candles are something else.
I watched most of the pruning videos and they were a blast, but my pines are rather small compared to Ryan’s and i still have those star form candle distribution at the top. What video would be best to watch to know how to handle those big junctions.

Also, can I remove the single needles at the trunk or are they rather important for the trees survival. I would like to make the trunk look like a trunk aesthetically and maybe wire it.
At what energy state would it be best to bend?

Thanks :pray:t2:

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You are in luck. :grinning:
The single flush mugo and scots pine post-hardening flush videos are in the archive from last week.

I’d suggest where you have the large clusters (like the top of the first picture), prune down to two (with a nice forking angle). This will prevent any excessive inverse taper from the whorling growth.

Then let it grow to get your back budding.

Like your balcony, by the way:smiley:


Hey Jimothy,

Thanks. I really like it too. Though it’s limited space for my bonsai, but I try to make the best of it.
I’m not sure where I’m gonna put the bonsai I’m getting next weak though :woozy_face:

As for the pruning. Yes I watched those videos before I posted here. They were great and very informative, though my pines are so young and Ryan’s pines are so old and big.
Just now foliage to even start making pads :sweat_smile:

I was just wondering if cutting back the cluster to twos, if it is too much pruning for such a small pine?!

Also what about the single needles on the trunk? Can they go? They kinda annoy me a bit :upside_down_face:

Hi @philiphartmann
I would say your pines are in early refinement? In which case, your goal is to thicken the trunk and promote back budding?
In which case, your pruning strategy would be to not prune as you want the maximum photosynthetic area, including the pairs of needles on the trunk, which is where the back buds will appear. Worry about structure once you have a trunk.
If you want to practice pruning, take a trip to a garden centre or nursery and get something a bit more developed.
Buying trees to practice on can be painful, as they tend to cost more than we would like. But as with hot sauce, the pain mellows with time, and you end up with a taste for it!


ok I see. So I should prune the junctions to twos, to not run into structural flaws later on. Leave the needles on the trunk for back budding to occur and trim the ends of the candles a bit to move energy back to the interior. Is that correct?

Thanks for the help.

I agree with Andy, too. The more you can leave on it, the more growth you will get. So I wouldnt shorten any of the candles, as you havent got the back-budding to push the energy back to yet.

I would still take the major junctions (on the trunk) back to 2, though, as if you are wanting to boost the width of the trunk and it grows rapidly, you will end up generating inverse taper in your trunk (which will be difficult to get rid of).

If you really have to cut (and I don’t think you should cut anything) take the junction down to 3. Then grow one as a sacrificial branch which can later cut off leaving 2.

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If you want a fat trunk you will need to let it grow.
I would leave the all the needle mass so the tree can use those solar panels to grow, grow, grow.
I don’t feel its time to cut anything off the tree. Any structural flaws that occur in the next few years won’t be an issue once unwanted branches have been removed, those areas will disappear when the tree has had substantial growth.
When its time, put it in the ground or larger pot depending on the room you have available where you live.
This young tree has 8-10 years before it has a thick trunk.
Listen to this podcast. The guys from Telperion farms give out a lot of info on how they develop field grown pines. :evergreen_tree::metal:t2::grinning: