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Old 04-17-2012, 08:36 PM
NJGardener NJGardener is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Toms River, NJ
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Pom Pom Pine Maintenance Questions

I have a couple pom pom pines and one pine shrub that seem a bit over grown. How can I help them become more defined and dense? The stems coming from the pom pom branches only seem to have needles on the last third; the inside is mostly bare or dead needles. Is this normal or a sign of a poor maintenance? Is it permanent? What, if anything, should I do with all the new candles? I took these photos today. Here's are the photos on flickr:

Thanks for any suggestions. I'll be sure to follow up.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:54 PM
agrostis agrostis is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Winston-Salem NC
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My first reaction is not to do anything to those pine's. But then again i have never needed to do something like that. Defined and dense... More sunlight. Needle's on the last 1/3 of the branch's... I think that is natural. Candle's... I woudn't mess with those, that's new growth. But if you want to prune, that's your starting point. I really don't know, but i do think it is interesting. I will try to find out more. Maybe this will help.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:56 PM
NJGardener NJGardener is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Toms River, NJ
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Here's what I was able to dig up:

Prune conifers, such as pines, by removing a portion of the "candle". The "candle" refers to the candle-like appearance of the new growth on the tips of pines in early spring. Once the "candle" has matured, buds present on it usually will not develop and grow; however, removal of the tip of the candle before it matures can stimulate buds into growth.

The Colorado University Extension's master gardening site has a similar recommendation on their page for pruning evegreens.

I've just been shearing some candles (not recommended), pinching others, and leaving yet others alone. I think I just need to wait and see what happens now, but I'd love to hear others' experiences.
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maintenance , pine , pom pom , pruning , shrub

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