pruning an ornamental pine

Asked May 22, 2020, 7:18 PM EDT

Please see attached photo. Last year I allowed the terminal bud to advance in order to add another tier to this pine. How and when should I prune the top in order to have it spread out laterally? Also, how far up from the base should I shear the candles in order to keep the shape on the rest of the tree, and when?

Thanks in advance, Ken

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

The best resource I found for this kind of pruning is here:
https://www.wilsonbrosgardens.com/pruning-pine-trees-shrubs.html

Any pruning of the candles should be down now. Hand pinching is better than using a pruner. Never take out more than 1/2 of the candle. Pruning the candles makes for a bushier plant. The central candle in the main branch will become the new leader, the other candles at the top of this tall branch will become the side branches. Here is another source, which has a lot on pruning other plants:
http://ccelivingstoncounty.org/resources/guide-to-pruning-ornamental-trees-shrubs