If you have a number of red or black pine bonsai, you may have noticed that there are new candles everywhere – a sign that decandling time is near.
It’s still a bit early for people who live in warmer areas, but people in cooler climates may have already begun decandling. The time’s just right for me to get started.
The first tree I turned my attention to is a red pine forest. As there’s a chance I’ll show it, I want to make sure the summer growth is well balanced. I often start the decandling process by dividing a tree into strong and weak zones. I thought for this forest I’d simplify the process a bit. The tree at the far left has always been weaker than the others. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see that the shoots on this tree are significantly smaller than the shoots on the other trees. I decided to decandle this tree first to give the weak shoots a chance to catch up with the others. In about two weeks, I’ll remove the new growth on the other trees, and if all goes well, by fall there will be slightly better balance among all of the trees.
Red pine forest
After decandling the weakest tree (far left)
When I finished with this tree, I checked the other pines in the garden to assess their decandling needs. The shoots on a few of them are fairly out of balance. I’ll start decandling the weaker shoots on these trees this week. The more well balanced trees can wait a few weeks, and my smallest pines can wait until early July. From there the weather will determine how vigorous this year’s summer growth will become.
Of course, there are many candles to cut before I have time to ponder the weather.
Black pine candles
Yet more candles – time to sharpen my scissors
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