Fall work on a black pine

We have covered needle-thinning recently, so here is another quick before and after look at thinning this pine, but this time, along with some light pruning.


Exterior shoots removed, as well as reducing all shoots to pairs.

After. Notice how the profile isn’t any smaller, and the interior is still dense? Pruning is really removing shoots so that each branch emerges as only a pair of shoots.


Now let’s take a look at some other fall chores.

1. Pruning long shoots. Oftentimes, practitioners new to bonsai prune the interior shoots in favor of exterior shoots. This is the way to prune, keeping growth close to the trunk.




2. Bud selection. Pines, in general, produce multiple buds at the tips. Allowing them all to remain creates knuckles where smooth ramification should be. Instead, keep a pair of buds, ideally, equally-sized (remember, it’s all about creating balance), and emerging from the sides, 3:00 and 9:00 positions. It makes the shoots emerge at more natural angles and makes wiring easier next fall.



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