Two of my young pines are almost – but not quite – ready to be fully decandled. The tree below, for example, looks ready, though you might notice that the upper branches are a bit far away from the relatively small trunk.
Japanese black pine – 13 years from seed
The upper branches have extended beyond the intended silhouette as I’m using these branches to thicken the future apex. I’m going to let these branches grow for now and decandle everything else.
Here’s what the tree looked like after decandling and limited wiring.
I expect to let the top branches develop for no more than 1-2 years before removing them at which point the whole tree can be decandled.
Another of my trees is maybe two years ahead of this in terms of development. The new apex has extended well beyond the silhouette and the apex has almost reached the desired size. I plan to leave this sacrifice branch in place for up to 1-2 years while I continue developing the rest of the branches below.
Here’s the tree before decandling.
Black pine – before decandling
And here it is after decandling.
In fall, I’ll re-evaluate how much longer the sacrifice branch needs to grow. When it comes off, the tree will have something close to the final silhouette.