Here is a recent photo of a Japanese black pine I decandled last fall. The new shoots began growing in fall, paused during winter, and continued growing in the spring. Now the needles are mature and the tree is full. This is how pines decandled in spring typically look in November.
Black pine – June 2011
The goal of decandling the tree in fall was to encourage new interior buds. Now that several of these buds have appeared, I want them to get stronger. To further push the interior buds, I thinned new growth in strong areas to a single bud.
Two new shoots – this branch is strong
Branch thinned to a single shoot
I also shortened as many branches as I could to further encourage the interior shoots.
After thinning and cutback
When the interior shoots get stronger, I can shorten the branches and further reduce the tree’s silhouette. A lot of work for such a young pine? Yes! But from this work, I’ve learned a lot. And so far, I’m happy with the results.
Subscribe to Bonsai Tonight
New Posts Delivered Every Tuesday and Friday
didn’t this idea come from Kondo? if i understand this correctly, you gain more interior buds sooner for ramification? then will you continue to decandle this way? or will you revert back?
Hi Steve – that’s right, Kondo suggested decandling in fall to push new interior buds. He looked at a tree with no buds and suggested decandling in fall to produce interior buds. The schedule: year 1 – decandle in fall; year 2 – do not decandle; year 3 – decandle in spring.
brilliant. thank you for sharing. we could be looking at the pine that takes another Kondo award!
This is a really pretty tree.
Christopher Glanton says
Very interesting process Jonas, and one that’s working out quite well with those new interior buds. Thanks for sharing and the updates!
It looks good. I’ll read more on the decandling process. I haven’t had the eureka moment yet so that and thinning the needles still makes no sense.