The Q&A Archives: Pruning Young White Pines

Question: My young white pines are looking a little spindly. I need to know when and how to prune them. I live in the mid-Hudson valley of New York state.

Answer: Pines can be made to grow denser by breaking off just a bit of the "candle" at each branch tip very early each spring before they have begun to expand much. Each broken candle will cause that branch to grow denser rather than elongated and spindly. This is why many commercial Christmas trees are sheared regularly in order to give such a full (and somewhat unnatural) look.

You might also want to make sure they are receiving the fertility and water that they need to grow vigorously.

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