Late Summer Maintenance of Black Pine

Under proper care, the Japanese black pine acquired back in Spring has been putting out a lot of growth. Judging from the lengthy needles, this little guy is soaking up a lot of fertilizer. The growth at the top part of the tree is getting very dense, and it’s time for a trim (and pluck).

Black Pine Before Needle PluckingThere was a candle at the apex that’s growing a lot faster than the rest of the tree, in order to balance the energy of the tree (redirect energy downwards), I trimmed the new growth to 4 pairs of needles.

Black Pine New Growth TrimmingI then continue to thin out the foliage of the tree. I plucked out all last year’s needles (all the needles that existed before I bought the tree). And then I continued to thin out this year’s needles. I removed more needles (leaving only 4 pairs) at the apex of the tree, removed less in the middle (leaving 5-6 pairs), and left the bottom needles largely untouched. I left more needles throughout the tree because I was hoping it’ll add thickening the branch (and I feel kind of uneasy until I obtained more experience).

Needles Pulled from Black PineAfter a few hours of plucking, I was surprised how many needles came out of the tiny tree.

Black Pine After Needle PluckingThe tree now looks more airy. I had to remove the wire shaping the trunk during mid summer, since it was biting into the trunk. I did noticed that the tree have sprung back out of shape since then. During the Sept or Oct club meeting, I’ll bring this tree in to re-wire it. And this time around, I’ll have a main branch to wire as well.

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