Bonsai Tonight

Decandling season isn’t just for decandling

Posted in Bonsai Development by Jonas Dupuich on June 26, 2012

Decandling season, typically late spring through early summer, can entail a lot more than removing spring growth from pine bonsai. It’s also a great time for removing extra needles, light cutback, and even wiring. Because the timing of the decandling is of some importance, I usually decandle my trees at the appointed times and then fit in whatever needle pulling, cutback and wiring I can manage. For me, that means decandling on the weekends and pulling needles after work.

In preparation for a recent Bay Island Bonsai workshop, I decandled the weakest tree in my red pine forest 10 days ahead of the workshop (see “Decandling season arrives“). I decandled the rest of the spring growth as planned in the workshop.

Red pine before decandling

Pre-workshop preparation – decandling the weak tree on the left

Decandling a red pine forest

Decandling the other trees at a BIB workshop

After decandling and some needle pulling

After decandling

To further reduce the tree’s vigor, I started removing excess needles. I left weak areas – and the weak tree on the left – alone, and removed all but a handful of needles from the stronger shoots. The result is a pretty bare-looking tree.

After needle pulling

After removing extra needles

After needle pulling - detail

Plucked branches

I’m doing the same thing for a number of my pines. After decandling, I pull needles. And if I have time before summer buds develop, I’ll wire as many branches as I can.

Black pine before plucking needles

Black pine after cutback-decandling

After needle pulling

Black pine after removing excess needles

Of course, I have yet to decandle, let alone pluck, let alone wire, my smaller pines. I’ll decandle these in early July and then pluck and wire until the summer buds develop. And if I don’t finish all of the plucking and wiring, I can always wait until fall.

Before decandling

To be decandled – and plucked? and wired? – in early July

One Response

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  1. Tom said, on June 26, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Wow that JBP has a real nice base, very strong. Thanks for another good post.

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