Summer buds start forming on black and red pines within days of decandling. I try to wire trees that need it before summer buds appear to avoid damaging them. What do I do when small buds appear but I still want to wire a tree? When I’m feeling ambitious, I go ahead and wire with care. Far more often, I wait until fall.
Here are some photos of newly formed buds on black and red pines.
Summer buds on Japanese black pine – 10 days after decandling
Black pine – 10 days after decandling
Summer buds on corkbark Japanese black pine – 10 days after decandling
Corkbark black pine – 10 days after decandling
Summer buds on Japanese red pine – 18 days after decandling
Red pine – 18 days after decandling
Some techniques call for thinning buds before they fully develop. I’ve done this on occasion, but usually large numbers of buds indicate that a branch is too strong and needs to be removed. Over the next few weeks I’ll continue to monitor my pines and see if thinning will be required when the buds get a little bigger.