Species Specific > Ponderosa Pine Bonsai Discussion

Needles hardened off?

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So if that is the case, what is the benefit of cutting the old needles?  If you are just worried about health and establishing, wouldn't you want all the needles you could have - more needles=more photosynthesis=more energy for growing roots, etc?

- bob

Sorry it took me a week to answer, Bob.

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. The tree has been doing so well that I thought maybe I could start actively encouraging backbudding a little, while still keeping my main focus on promoting health and vigor.

Maybe we need a "Janus" smiley -- the Roman god with two faces on opposite sides of his head, who carried a contradiction within himself!

You can do both, but I think you would get more back budding by cutting off the ends of the branches, rather than cutting old needles.

- bob

John Kirby:
Cut the old needles off, it helps to control fungal infections and opens up the tree, do not cut the buds off of the ends of this tree. Let the tree grow and gather some strength. If you want to cut off the terminal buds to encourage back budding, then I would start fertilizing in the spring as soon as the tree "brightens up" and starts to move. Then in mid-late May or so, do your pruning and then keep the fertilizer on the tree and let it pop. Larry Jackel discusses this in his book, I have done it as well. In my experience we have done better by cutting needles in the spring, fertilizing and placing in full sun.  John

 :o As per Ryan Neil do NOT remove any needles(except on the bottom of branches)OR candle Ponderosas IF you want backbudding.  The more photo panels(needles) you have the more energy there is to go into new buds.  When I talked to Ryan last summer in person I mentioned Larrys book which I have and Ryan very much disagrees on technique for back bud development.  Seeing Ryans many Ponderosas I'd have to say he knows where he's coming from.


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