10 June 2012

Pinching back candles

It's the first week of June, and that means candle pinching time. Confused?  What I am referring to is the pinching of the new growth on pines including Mugho, white and black.  This past week I pinched them back half-way, some more severely, depending on the desired growth habit.  

Pinching of candles is best done the first week of June, when you can snap them off using just your hands, no tools required.  The growth hasn't yet gotten woody, so this makes it easier for the gardener and for the plant (less bleeding).

The result is fuller, bushier pines.  This is especially important if you are growing topiaries as in the above photo showing a white pine in topiary form.

Be sure, though, if you have allergies to take something beforehand because, at this time of year, these pines produce a lot of pollen. One just needs to brush against them and a yellow fog of pollen billows out.  

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