The Q&A Archives: Pruning of French Blue Scotch Pine

Question: How and when do I prune a French Blue Scotch Pine to maintain it's shape which is described, on it's tag, as an Oriental Pompon? Thank you for your help.

Answer: These plants have one growth spurt in the spring each year. The growth tips are called candles and these are found at the tip of each branch. They expand to form the new growth for the year. To control the size and shape and keep it dense, you would need to pinch off (snip it with a sharp hand pruner) a portion of each growth candle. The more of the candle you remove, the tighter the shape and the smaller and denser each pompon will stay. You do not want to remove the entire candle however as this would prevent it from growing at all. If you are not sure, your professional nurseryman should be able to show you how to do this.

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