Fall work on an ‘Arakawa’ Japanese Black Pine

In March of this year, I repotted this pine, and had to get rather aggressive to address some rotting roots under the trunk. Here is the post which shows the tree, bare-rooted, and reduced to nearly a cutting. I was confident the tree had enough roots to live, and the timing was perfect. I was also confident that the tree would die if I allowed top he rotting to continue, and was losing surface roots.


I decided to not candle-cut the tree in the summer, knowing that would set back branch ramification for a year, and result in longer needles…but that was a short-term sacrifice for a longer gain.

By late spring, it was clear the tree was recovering and healthy.

Note the strong candle on the grafted shoot on the first right branch.

I let the tree grow for the rest of the summer, and in mid-September, it looked like this:

The angle of the grafted branch is bothersome, but it was the second attempt and the only place I could get good contact. With a little luck, wire, and some carving, I should be able to hide it over time.

I removed old needles and pruned whorls back to pairs:

And added a little wire to the new shoots to fan out the branches. Here is the result for now:

Over the next few years, I’ll let the branches extend and begin to build pads of ramification. By next fall, I hope to have a profile similar to this photoshop virt:

By the way, this tree was grown by Chris and Lisa Kirk of Telperion Farms. They lost everything in the Oregon wildfires, and have a GoFundMe page set here:


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