Black Pines: Time to cut those candles!

Black Pine Candle Cutting

The time for maintaining your Black Pine bonsai tree is upon us again, its time for Black Pine Candle Cutting. For those that have been watching strong lengthy candles grow but have held back on cutting them, you can now grab your shears. Make the cut at the base of the candle. If you cut the candle higher than the base, you will end up with a dried up half candle that will just use up energy and eventually need to be cut. Also, not cutting at the base will prevent new buds from forming.

Step by Step: Black Pine Candle Cutting

Candle cutting can take a toll on your tree. However, to minimize the impact of your work. Work from the weakest part of your tree to the strongest part. When working with a layered tree, the weakest branches are the bottom branches whereas the strongest branches are the top branches. Cut the candles on the bottom layer first, then wait 5-10 days. After that move onto your second layer, then wait, and so forth. This will ensure that your tree remains healthy and strong throughout the process.

The exception: Building Branches

If you are planning on creating thicker branches, you won’t want to cut the candles obviously. Otherwise this will shorten your branch. We recommend alternating years between candle cutting. Let the candle grow one year, then cut it back. Then let it grow another year. This way the branch will grow healthy and strong.

Author: Jason Chan. Student of David Nguy. Sharing his teacher’s techniques and insight for others to enjoy.

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