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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