Candle-Cutting time 2018

It takes about 100 days for the second flush of JBP growth to finish and harden off. That needs to happen before the first frost, so find your first frost date, and count back 100 days. That is when you should decandle black pines.

First up, this Arakawa cultivar from Telperion Farms. This one looks goofy because I’m letting the first right branch run wild for a few years in hopes of getting a back-bud closer to the trunk.

Done. See that “Irish moss” in the photo above? That stuff has to go. It is invasive, has a big root system, and prevents the soil from drying out. Interestingly, it starts out as very pretty deep green velvety moss. But don’t let it fool you!

Next up is this JBP, originally styled by Peter Warren in 2011. It’s coming along nicely. I like the trunk movement at this planting angle, and the branch structure is starting to mature a bit.




Moss removed here too, and a little light pruning to reduce clusters of shoots down to a pair of shoots.

I don’t stop feeding pines after candle cutting, so these will continue the regimen of Pant Tone cakes and regular doses of fish emulsion.

Good growing!


Itoigawa Refinement

This one has been one of my favorite trees, but it’s rather unassuming in the bench. I initially styled it with Peter Warren in 2011…a flash through the last 8 years in a few snaps…

2010, as purchased from Evergreen Gardenworks:

2011, first major styling:

2012, a slight change in direction:

2014, 2nd major styling:

2015, full year of growth:

2016, lightly trimmed, but otherwise allowed to grow:

2017, repotted, lightly trimmed in the summer, 2014 wires removed:

Which brings us to now…Here is a shot from spring 2018.

and the work begins…Scrubbed trunk and deadwood:

Lightly pruned:

Wiring started:

Continuing to the “H Shot”

And complete…

Some moss, cleaning up the undersides of the branches, and a little minor tweaking and it is ready for show.

One last parting shot…

Tosho trimming…

Once it’s had a few weeks of strong growth, it is time to cut it back. I plan to show it in our club’s show in late May, so in late April, it was cut back so it would have a chance to soften by show time.

Tosho start a little later, and grow pretty vigorously. To get this one back in shape, easily 60% if the foliage was removed, and it will be right back again in 6 weeks. They love summer heat and plenty of water.