Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pine Tips, Keeping Pines Nice and Neat

     There's so much going on at this time of year it's hard to keep up with everything. With our early and hot spring this year everything is happening all at once, case in point, the pines need to be candled! If you have a mugho pine or a fancy bonsai pine and wish to keep it looking that way take this advice, this isn't needed for miniature pines just the bigger types. Around this time of year or more normally in May you will notice the long finger looking things emerging from the ends of the pine boughs, this is their new leaves and stems emerging. to keep pines bushy and curtailed a little in growth simply break off about 1/4 to 1/2 of the candle.

     I saw this technique on  TV many decades ago and later found out that in Tokyo there are thousands of City workers who have been doing this for hundreds of years for the many pines there. I usually wear gloves for this task as the sap is terrible, this was only for the magic of blogging. I also learned once, during a brief foray into bonsai, that this makes pines and conifers bushier by promoting more branches below the break. 

The candles easily break, in a few weeks the needles will emerge.

In a few years you will have a tidy looking pine. I got these over 10 years ago for 2 dollars!

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