Recently Amelia and I joined Jake Hobson, acclaimed author of ‘Niwaki’ for the part one workshop on two-needled pines. The workshops comprised of two days, one in spring the other in autumn, are focused on pine maintenance. This spring workshop looked essentially at the pruning of candles, both in terms of formative and structural pruning. Jake proposed it is possible to consider pine maintenance on either an annual or bi-annual basis, the later obviously being recommended pratice. The initial work begins in early to mid may in our UK climate, depending on conditions, whereby the removal of spring buds should take place. This eliminates the long ‘spring neck’ within the newly grown candle, but more importantly encourages ‘back budding’ sending energy to weaker areas, balancing the trees growth. The tree in the feature image is a Scots Pine, Jake showed us the technique for candle pinching and pruning. The spring growth was not be fully removed but have the candles pruned or pinched back by 2/3rds evenly across the entire tree. This is a very concise summary of one aspect of the workshop.
This was the end result after around an hour of candle pruning and pinching and following the workshop Jake finished the rest of the tree to complete the candle work for this year. The reason behind candle pruning but not full decandling for this tree is that the Scots pine tree is less vigorous than Black pine in its candle development and so leaving part of the original candle compensates for this but still achives the desired end result.
For further information visit Jake’s website at: www.niwaki.com
In addition to learning about candle pruning at the workshop, we also learnt about how to structure the trees to develop and improve their form. Here is a series of photographs from our workshop showing the methods used for branch training with string and also canes.
This was a technique we had seen whilst in Japan a few years ago and it was a great opportunity to see how it is created and more importantly to have a go ourselves. We also saw trees being staked, propped and guyed via various methods all with different intensions subject to the methods used which included providing extra support to the trees trunk or branches to achieve elongated branch development as well as straight branches or even kinks and bends to suit the visual requirement.
Role on part two – I am really looking forward to it.