Rather than make long term goals for trees, I’ll often make short to medium-term plans based on the current condition of the tree. This is true for many of the black pines I’ve been growing from seed, especially the ones for which I can’t see obvious futures.
The pine below is one of these trees. It has little taper and only a few low branches which doesn’t make it a great candidate for a small bonsai. Because the trunk is straight, it’s not a super candidate for informal or formal upright styles either. I’m thinking I’ll eventually pick a new direction for the trunk in a year or two, but as the low branches are small, I’ll wait to make that decision. For now I’m reducing the apex to encourage growth closer to the base of the trunk so I’ll have good options for new leaders down the road.
10 year-old black pine
After reducing the apex
After thinning branches
I’ve worked on enough similar pines to know that I can be pleasantly – or unpleasantly – surprised by trees’ development in as little as a single year. We’ll see what the next year brings for this tree.
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