I recently learned, a bit late, how to treat black pines that were decandled in fall – see “Fall decandling, year two” for details. After decandling the tree, I took the opportunity to wire it in a workshop with Akio Kondo. After reviewing my wiring, Kondo asked if I had a toothbrush. Too soft, he said. I offered a nylon brush with bristles I’d shortened for cleaning juniper bark. Perfect. Kondo took the brush and began gently brushing the tops of the branches. He says the gentle stimulation will encourage new buds.
Brushing the bark
I quickly brushed the remaining branches and began looking forward to learning what will happen when the tree buds out next month.
The wiring, Kondo noted, is not for styling. It’s sole purpose is to expose the interior branches to the light. A few years down the road, when new shoots become large enough to wire, it will be time for a proper styling.
At this point, I’m simply hoping for enough warm weather to coax some summer growth out of the tree.