Like so many varieties, black pine bonsai tend to require our attention throughout the year. In addition to regular watering and feeding, needles need plucking, roots need repotting, and branches need wiring – tasks which often require some level of artistry or at least our close attention. Not so for my favorite spring task – removing young pine cones!
Young pine cones
At about the same time needles begin to emerge from candles, small cones often develop at the end of candles.
Lavender and green cones
As soon as they’re big enough to grab hold of, it’s time to twist them off.
Unsuspecting young cones
Removing young cones lets trees focus their energy elsewhere. I don’t know what effect this has on the tree one way or the other, but it’s a simple task and it saves me from removing the cones later when they’re larger and harder to separate from the tree.
I tend to ignore the male flowers as they dry up and fall away without any intervention.
Dried pollen cones ready to fall away
With the young cones removed, I can now focus on watering and fertilizing for another month until decandling time.
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