It’s fun to see new shoots elongating on black and red pines this time of year. The light colored growth makes a nice contrast against the darker green foliage from the previous year and the length of the shoots are a good measure of the tree’s health.
Spring growth on a black pine group planting
Because pines grow so quickly this time of year, it’s not uncommon for the new shoots, or candles, to wilt a little. This can happen even when a tree has adequate water.
Whenever I see subtle wilting, I double check to make sure the trees have enough water. If the wilt is more pronounced, I know the tree is dry. When this happens, I’ll water several times in a row and then return to the tree after 30-60 minutes and water a few more times.
I was surprised, earlier this week, to see so much wilt on the pine below after a rainy day.
Wilted red pine
The old soil had remained dry despite the rain which caused the new shoots to wilt. The tree recovered after several waterings but it was a good reminder that bonsai can need watering on rainy days too!
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