After many years of decandling red and black pine bonsai, I find I still need to pay close attention as I work. It’s easy to cut too high or too low, cut at an angle, or accidentally cut nearby needles. If you can avoid these cutting mistakes, you’re off to a great start.
Making the cut
There are only a few things to keep in mind when making the cuts to remove spring growth, but each is important.
- Make the cut square – angled cuts can yield uneven summer growth
- Leave some new tissue – adventitious buds sprout from new tissue; cutting into last year’s growth will stimulate needle buds
- Don’t cut surrounding needles – it’s easy to accidentally cut surrounding needles; make cuts with care
Plenty of new tissue
Careful not to cut surrounding needles
Approach shoot with scissors closed
Open scissors when you get to the shoot
Cut with care
I’ll say more about how much new tissue to leave in a future post. Thanks to new decandling practitioner and sometime hand model Steve for help with the photos.
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