Summer Candle Pruning for 2-needle pines, part 3: the comeback

In previous years, I candle pruned this pine in 3 stages, weak shoots, followed 7-10 days later with stronger shoots, and finishing 7-10 days after that by removing the strongest shoots. The results have become very predictable. This is a favorable outcome in bonsai!

As an experiment, this year, I removed all the shoots at the same time around July 1st. The tree was fairly well balanced, so I only left stubs on the strongest shoots.

Now, it will be interesting to compare how the tree responds to complete candle pruning at once, vs. in several phases. My initial hypothesis was that removing everything at once would slow down the comeback.

Here is the first left branch 30 days after candle pruning last year (phase 1 of 3):

20120731-062739.jpg

Now, here is a close up shot of the tree from today, 30 days after candle pruning (all in one phase):

20120731-062859.jpg

So far, it’s slightly behind last year, but we’ll keep tracking and see how it finishes the year.

20120731-063005.jpg

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2 thoughts on “Summer Candle Pruning for 2-needle pines, part 3: the comeback

  1. Hi Tom,
    It’s a little early to tell, but since it is a bit slower, that could mean shorter needles. My main question/concern is, does this method weaken the tree more than leaving new growth and candle pruning in phases?

    If it’s weakened, I may delay repotting it another year. If it stays strong, I’d be more confident repotting it next spring and getting it into a slightly smaller, nicer pot.

    Thanks for reading,
    BVF

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