One-and-a-half-year-old pine seedlings
This past March I potted up a number of seedling cuttings made in 2012 (see Repotting 1 year-old black pine seedlings).
1 year-old black pine seedlings
Just four months later, the seedlings are much bigger.
1.5 year-old black pine from seedling cutting
Low buds developing without prompting
Apical shoots opening – a good sign of vigor
Apart from their characteristic floppy foliage, the red pines look similar.
1.5 year-old red pine from seedling cutting
Large and small shoots low on the trunk
Apical buds opening
In general, red and black pines grow once a year in spring. When they’re really healthy – or when significant foliage is removed via decandling or cutback – they send out a second flush of growth in summer.
Most of my 1.5 year-old pines are now sending out a second flush of growth. Sometimes this growth develops from apical buds that open early, other times new buds emerge and elongate at the same time.
I found good examples of the former on my 3.5 year-old seedlings. The photo below looks like it was taken in spring when apical buds typically elongate, but as we can see from closer inspection, the center bud has yet to budge.
Apical shoots opening in summer
The center bud remains closed
I expect I’ll see all sorts of variations like this by fall when the pines begin to slow down. No need to wire, cut, pluck or break the new growth – continued watering and feeding is all that’s required at this point.