Japanese Black Pine winter thinning

Fall or winter work on a JBP consists of pulling old needles, some new needles to balance the strength, a little pruning to reduce whorls of shoots down to pairs, and then some wiring to fan out the new shoots. This one was thinned, wired, and candle-cut during the summer, and here is the tree before starting the work this winter:

I’ve been battling needle cast in this tree more than any other pine in my garden. I have made some headway with Bionide Infuse, but it crept up again this fall. Here is a shot of the crown, before any old needles were removed:

After removing the 2-year old needles:

Next up is thinning the shoots; where more than 2 are present, reduce to two:

Bottom two branches complete:

After pruning and thinning some of the current-year’s needles:


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