(This technique is not decandling. It is a pre-decandle technique.)

In the April 2010 tip, we talked about how to thin out spring growth on a variety of trees. In this tip, we concentrate on Japanese Black Pines.

Japanese Black Pines. Break the longer candles down to about the same length as the other candles on the tree. Even if the tree's growth is significantly unbalanced, break only the strongest candles. This will slow down the growth in the strong areas. It will also prevent the branches from getting too big. If the needles have already opened, break 1/4 to 1/2 off the large candles (you can use the scissors to cut them instead).

Break about half or more candles on the tree (it depends on how strong it is). If the candle is very strong, then the amount of the candle you leave should be shorter. Note: Decandling usually starts in June in the San Francisco Bay Area.