Single Flush Pines (short vs. long)

Hi guys, I’ve been confused lately as how I should approach short vs. long single flush pines in refinement.

Ryan has kept his theory the same since a video that went out on youtube about 4 years ago regarding single flush vs. multi-flush pines. You pretty much let candles grow long, accumulate foliage mass and then cut back to 5-6 pairs after hardening to get back budding for development.

For refinement he stated that for single flush you pinch once the candles are still young, elongated but not yet opened and you pinch according to the length you need for the exterior and interior branches, etc. For the multi-flush it’s different and I won’t even introduce that here or speak about it because it won’t help :smiley:

I just watched the “pinching to design” stream (May 4, 2017) and now it’s a bit more complex as he has split up the single flush pines even more and into two more categories. Short vs. Long. On the short pines, he recommends to feed a lot, water a lot because there is no risk of needles getting larger. So on the shore pine, he went in and pinched according to the design needs while keeping enough needle pairs to get that branch viable.

My question is, with Sylvestris, parviflora etc, what do we do when we want to keep the design intact? As he said you shouldn’t touch long needle single flush pines during this time (end of April beginning of May for Northern Hemisphere). Soon the candles will become hard (un-pinchable) and then we would be moving in the development realm of things where the candles would open and then we can only cut them which would result in a bunch of unpredictable buds all over the place?

Has anyone else wondered what to do here? Does he cover this in the “ponderosa pine maintenance” stream (Sept. 21, 2017)? I don’t see anything else regarding single flush pines between May and June except for Multi-flush and those are completely different.

Sylvestris is a short 2 needle pine so go ahead and pinch if you are refining the tree.
Parviflora, isn’t that a short 5 needle pine? I believe there is a video called 5 needle pine nuances that should cover them.
I too find all these a bit confusing as well. I got a pinus cembra that was collected last year, it’s a 5 needle pine, short I believe 5-10 cm needles if I remember right. My plan is to treat it the same way as I would a sylvestris, cut back if I got backbudding otherwise just let I grow and fertilize heavily. Not sure if this is the right way to treat it so if someone has some insight please share.

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Hi Alex,

Yeah, more confusing now right? :smiley: Well sort of, maybe there are just more nuances than before thanks to closely watching the different reactions and growth habits of individual trees by Mirai.

Yes, I also thought that white and scots are short but in the video I mentioned “Pinch to design” he specifically says that Scots and white are not short needle and will increase in size if they receive more energy.

Cembra are beautiful, I got to see them in the Tatra mountains in Slovakia and they are really pretty and quite rare as Bonsai. Probably because they don’t bark up fast and usually grow straight.

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Hmm. I have to watch that one again. I am positive that I’ve heard him say that Scots pine are short needle several times in other videos.


So I went to the stream and found it. @ 14:17 the nuances are first brought up by Kendall. This is where I felt confused as he doesn’t mention when to pinch long needle, single flush pines.

aha so he does say Scots pine, you where right, but that still doesn’t answer the Parviflora and Cembra question you had.

Have you watched this one?
If I remember right I think he mention parviflora in that stream, not sure tho. I think I got the indications on how to treat the cembra from this video.

I believe long 2 needle single flush pines is brought up in the videos containing ponderosa pine.

[quote="Have you watched this one?
If I remember right I think he mention parviflora in that stream, not sure tho. I think I got the indications on how to treat the cembra from this video.

I believe long 2 needle single flush pines is brought up in the videos containing ponderosa pine.

yes Im watching that one right now, but he only talks about when you can water a fertilize regularly without affecting the needle length so far, I’ll keep watching to see if that information is dropped. But yeah, cembra can be treated exactly the same I would say.

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Okay so @ 1:01:20 the question is asked about single flush long needle pines

I could have sworn I heard him say that scots was a short needle single flush as well. As soon as I think I’ve got a handle on pines it all goes out the window :thinking:

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Ok so white pines are long needle pines, aha. Well I guess I won’t be pinching the cembra then when it’s in a refined state. Thanks Thomas.
@Mike_Hennigan the Scots pine is a short needle pine, your sworn (English is not my first language :joy:) was right. But ye, different type of pines is a jungle.


Gotta correct myself here :joy:. Cembra is a single flush short needle pine so I guess I can pinch it in refinement.

look in the Q&A indices to gain further clarity on this! the few different posts with all the many Q&As are in the resources tab.

You can search the indices with CMD+F or CTL+F on a mac to find any questions that have been asked during a Q&A regarding short-needle single flush pines. Could be helpful


I have tried it and it does help. In an ideal world, I wish that Ryan could invest time and create a presentation on all the single flush (short-long needle) and multi flush pines, and give us the handling of the tree, candles and needles, during refinement and development. An analysis on the whiteboard of all the pines in order to clarify and finish with this rather confusing subject once and for all. Maybe do that on a Thursday instead of a Q&A session… Thank u.


Cembra is a short needle, where did you read hear that? They have pretty long needles in the Tatra mountains :smiley:

On a couple Swedish websites, they state that the needles are usually 5 cm which would be a short needle. I only got a couple of shoots with longer needles on my pine the rest is about 5cm, the longer needles is max 10 cm.

Thanks Kendall! Control F is a great tool sometimes :slight_smile:

Okay so I took Kendall’s advice and found a direct question of the procedure for Long needle single flush pines and how to approach them regarding maintaining design: @ 32:50

I think I am back in the, “I know more now and feel comfortable working with all pines” feeling. :slight_smile: