Tips & Tricks: White pine clean up.

Why haven’t there been any Tips & Tricks articles yet?!  Because I just had the idea today, that’s why.  I’ll try to do these occasionally in between the longer articles.  Seems like fun writing to me.

It’s late summer here in Nagoya.  This is a great time to work on junipers and pines.  In this article we will quickly cover a technique for cleaning up old needles on white pines.  This is useful to know, especially before wiring, as it helps get rid of the clutter and free the tree up for wiring work.  It is also just good a maintenance practice to get into.


Here we go!

A few years of growth.

A few years of growth.

The picture above is a white pine branch with a few years of growth showing.  The old needles are not doing much for the tree at this point in their life.  So its time for them to go and make room for some new needles.  So how should we remove them?  I’m sure each nursery has its own technique and one is likely as good as the other.  Here at Aichien, we cut the old needles off of white pines versus pulling them with tweezers.  I’ll explain why at the end.



When we cut the needles it’s important not to cut close to the branch.  Leave a little bit on there.


this branch is finished

This is how things will look after cutting.  Sometimes small buds can be hiding in between a pair of needles and we can not see them.  If we pull the needles off or cut close to the branch, those potential new buds will be lost.  Within about a month, the needles with no buds will dry up and fall off.

one week later

one week later

The above picture is a different branch from the same tree.  This is what things look like 1 week after cutting the needles.  Already things are drying up and falling off.  If there is a new bud growing in there, we will see evidence soon.

Ok, that’s all for this one.

Thanks for reading.  Check out more pictures on Instagram by searching for TreeThePeople.

Until next time…