Fall cleanup on a black pine

This pine was candle-pruned all at once on July 5th, and the resulting new growth was somewhat unbalanced. Fall needle-pulling can help restore some of the balance throughout the tree; removing more needles in strong areas, and fewer needles in the weaker areas. Here are a few shots from along the way.

Here is a congested area:

Circled areas are particularly dense and need to be thinned out by removing old needles and pruning small shoots to give remaining shoots a chance to get light.


A wider shot clearly showing the difference between before and after the work:

See how much more light can get through the tree, and how each shoot has a place in the sun?
Unfortunately, I’d left this one to its own devices too long, and aphids had caught on to my lack of attention. They had moved in, in spades! Fortunately, Malathion is very effective. Since aphids are often born pregnant, it will take several rounds of treatment at 4-7 day intervals to fully eradicate them.

And a bucketful of needles later…

The work was complete, providing a much thinner appearance, with evenly-balanced foliage throughout.

Next week, we’ll look at needle pulling and bud selection work to balance black pines in the fall.


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