Shaping Black Pine - Knowledgebase Question

Madera, CA
Avatar for saf9999
Question by saf9999
March 27, 2000
We put in two beautiful black pine trees near our swimming pool that are shaped similar to bonsai trees. I was told to trim the candles off when they grow in order to maintain the tree's shape. However, the tree is producing large bunches of candles. What is the best way to trim so that the tree maintains its shape and remains full?

Answer from NGA
March 27, 2000
Snapping off the fresh, young shoots that appear in spring, called candles, is a good way to keep pines like yours in shape. If you allow the candles to grow, they'll become permanent branches. Pruning them will leave scars. But in spring, they young shoots break off easily. Remove them all, shortly after they appear, to maintain your tree's shape.

Good luck!

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