Specialized Pruning for Different Genus
Specific Techniques for all Pines with the exception of the far weaker White Pines
To achieve a fully finished look there are a number of tasks that should be performed annually. Each task has a correct time of year; doing it at the wrong time of year slows development.
When pruning conifers of all varieties, never remove all the foliage from any branches that you wish to retain. If you do not the sap will not flow in the branch and it will die. (This is quite different from the rules for deciduous trees).
- New growth should be pinched or clipped several times in spring. When candles reach a length of 3-5 cm remove the strongest growing candles leaving only 1 or 2 in the cluster. When shoots get to between 5 - 8 cm cut back leaving only 3 - 4 pairs of needle on the shoot.
- Pines need plentiful sunlight during the spring, summer. When deprived of sufficient light, the tree will develop elongated needles and experience die-back of the branches that are exposed to shade.
- Do structural and major pruning in early autumn. Never remove all needles on a shoot as it will die back.
- Any heavy pruning of the branch or trunk and needle plucking or cutting should be carried out in autumn to minimize sap loss.
- The tree is hardy in winter, but freezing winds can be a threat while their roots remain frozen.