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pruning pines?

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by pagarden on March 12, 2006 10:58 AM
there are a few smallish pine trees in our yard and they are looking kinda skimpy. is there a way to prune them to make them grow fuller? or should i just fertilize them? or both?
by Jiffymouse on March 12, 2006 11:23 PM
it depends on the type of pine, how they are spaced, and more importantly whether they are being eaten by something. without those answers, it would be hard to say how or even whether to prune. i don't think pines are usually pruned.
by peppereater on March 13, 2006 12:36 AM
I advise not to prune them. If you cut off the tops, you'd get more branching, and a tree with weak structure. I would not use a strong fertilizer, either. Compost or manure would be my choice, but they may not need that, either, unless your soil is just especially poor.
How old are they, and do you know what type?

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by pagarden on March 13, 2006 11:21 PM
well, i wouldn't top them off- i meant more like trim the branches to encourage more growth. and i haven't seen any bugs. there are a few other huge pines around so i wouldn't think the soil is bad for them. here's a pic of one. the other is just as scrawny. i was thinking of those pine fertilizers from the store- would they do any good? sorry the pic is not that great- the suns not out too bright today.

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by peppereater on March 14, 2006 06:10 AM
I only mentioned topping because it is not unusual for nurseries to do that to get fuller trees, and it's really the only kind of pruning that can make a young tree grow fuller.
There are just so many pines grown in my area, but that resembles most either loblolly or slash pine...it's probably something else, just because these are typically southern pines.
Fertilizing is a tricky issue because, while it could aid in foliage development, it could also just make the trees grow even taller and spindlier. The main benefit to evergreen fertilizer is acidifying the soil...the nitrogen it provides is mostly a "quick fix," what isn't used right away leaches out of the soil fairly quickly.
While the picture doesn't show detail, I think it may have given me a hint as to what's wrong...is it surrounded by larger trees? I see other branches coming into the picture from either side. If it is getting only a few hours of direct sun a day, it will continue to be on the spindly side until, and unless, it's able to get up into the sun better and start to compete with it's neighbors. Maybe the trees around it could be trimmed to provide more light.
Please reply with any other information you have, and post other pics if you'd like, we'd all like to see you have success with your trees!
By the way...just to make sure, this is an evergreen, and definitely a pine? As it appears only as a silouette, it reminds me of a bald cypress...but they turn brown in winter.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by markr on March 14, 2006 07:37 AM
i think by looking at the picture, the pine is having trouble because its being bullied by its neighbours.

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Mark
by peppereater on March 14, 2006 08:19 AM
quote:
Originally posted by markr:
i think by looking at the picture, the pine is having trouble because its being bullied by its neighbours.
Well put!

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by neko nomad on March 14, 2006 11:26 AM
The one in the picture looks like a young Eastern White Pine Pinus strobus, a magnificent forest giant. It looks to be too large to be trained and trimmed to a manageable size.

Be easy with the lawn fertilizer to avoid aphids and borers.
by pagarden on June 05, 2006 04:30 PM
well, sorry guys- i think this ones a goner. past few years it's been so full and nice and i love it in winter since the other trees are bare. i've noticed it is about 95% dead now. only a small scattering of green needles at very top. [Frown] i also found an old pine in the yard behind us that's bare and dead too. i think with this one in our yard if it totally dies i will top off a good few feet and cut all the branches off so it looks like a pole, attach my bird house and let vines grow up it.

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