Weeping white pine training questions

FlowersForMyFarm(WI z4)May 9, 2011

A weeping white pine (along with some mini conifers) seem to have followed me home this weekend. I've never grown a weeping pine before so I'd like to learn how to train it properly. I did try a search of the forum first but the search function didn't seem to work for me. Google turned up the instructions below. In your experience do they sound correct for a conifer newbie to follow? (I'm afraid I may have a new plant obsession to add to the list if this actually works) Thanks for your assistance, here's what I found:

Step 1

Cut away any damaged, broken, or diseased branches as soon as possible. Do this when the damage occurs. The tree does not have to be in its dormant state.

Step 2

Train a young weeping white pine to develop a central trunk by cutting off any low branches that develop at the trunk. Do not leave a stub as this lends itself to disease. This can be done in the winter when the tree is dormant.

Step 3

Trim back any long weeping branches that are getting close to the ground. You do not want the branches to grow along the ground as they will form a ground cover. Cut them back to above ground height. This can be done in the winter or in the early spring.

Step 4

Cut back branches if the tree is spreading beyond its boundaries within your landscape design. Cut back to a branch or to the main trunk. Do this in the winter or early spring.

Step 5

Trim back new growth by cutting back the new shoots (candles) to half their length. This can be done in spring after the candles appear. The candle should have completed its growth before you do the trimming--the needles will still be soft.

Oh, and one more question. Will the main trunk of this thing slowly keep growing taller over the years or do I need to try to train a branch upwards to continue the main trunk and then work to maintain it at it's desired height? So much to learn!!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

proper name: Pinus strobus 'Pendula' ...google that and go to the pix page.. to see what it can do ....

intro to conifers at the link ...

your quotes ..... some of the worst info i have ever seen ... would love to see that link ....

it will grow flat on the ground .. if left to itself ...

it will only achieve the height that you train it to ...

i have never cut anything off of my 8 footer .. except damage .. and that was from shipping ... 9 years ago ...

if the leader is already growing down.. yes.. pick one near the top.. and train it higher .... pound in a stake.. and bind it to the stake ... retie as needed ...

candle pruning sounds ridiculous ... whats the point of a weeper.. if you reduce its ability to weep ... why not encourage a skirt as we call it???

lets start with proper planting.. do you need info on planting a tree/conifer???

short of a soil test.. it will NEVER need fertilizer ... i grow in sterile sand.. and never fert mine

drainage is imperative with trees ... [which a conifer is] .... if you have clay soil.. advise and we will guide ...

no trunk of any tree grows taller ... the leader keeps growing up .. but not the trunk .... if you were to pound in a nail at 3 feet.. one hundred years from now.. it will be at 3 feet .... the trunk does not extend upwards.. [or i exaggerate .. lol]

pics of mine below ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 2:00PM
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FlowersForMyFarm(WI z4)

Thanks Ken, thank goodness I asked! The link that I found that on seemed not to be the most credible so I questioned the info myself. Here's where I found it http://www.gardenguides.com/82649-prune-weeping-pine-trees.html Probably one of those sites geared more towards creating advertising revenue than dispensing information I suspect.

One of the branches on it looks like it will be a good prospect to train as a leader. I have already planted it with some "horse fertilizer" and some Mycorise (only because I bought a bunch of other trees and the nursery will give a 5 year guarantee on them as long as you buy it when you buy the trees - very cheap insurance in other words) It should have some decent drainage as it's in a raised slightly sloped bed with many small to fist sized rocks and fairly crappy soil under the bed. Does that sound okay?

Love your photos! Years ago you enabled me on the hosta addiction (which is still going strong and getting worse) and now I can see you could just as easily enable me on the conifers too. ;-)

I'll have to snap a photo of it later and see if the branch I'm thinking of will be the right one to train. I'd rather it eventually be taller like yours and it's just a small one now. I shall try very hard to restrain myself from going in search of a taller one until I learn what I'm doing on this little guy.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 2:48PM
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FlowersForMyFarm(WI z4)

I took the largest weeping branch and have tied it up to a stake to try and train it to be a leader. Does it look okay?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 3:56PM
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steg(z6 SW Cleveland)

Hey bud, that is definitely not a weeping white pine. It looks like a weeping Norway Spruce (Picea abies).

Looks like you did a good job staking it. Still a cool plant, but definitely not a pine.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 2:41PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

not all conifers are pines ...

and one thing REALLY FOR SURE... is that your SPRUCE.. will not eventually have PINE cones ...

regardless you will enjoy it...

good job with the staking...

your first clue might have been mine has 3 to 4 inch PINE needles... and yours has the standard 1 inch spruce needles ...

if you didnt gratuitously send me carp hosta.. i might razz you endlessly .. lol

enjoy it ...


ps: i would have skipped the manure ... unless it was well rotted ... or incorporated into the whole bed ...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 3:21PM
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FlowersForMyFarm(WI z4)

I dug out the tag and sure enough, it says weeping Norway Spruce! Apparently the White Pine was just a delusion in my mind. Sad thing is that I just had two big Norway Spruce put in a couple years ago...perhaps that should have been a clue? Oh well, I obviously have a lot to learn.

So what are the short needled trees called that get really really tall but they have pine cones? Are they a "pine" if they have cones? They surround our farm as a windbreak so now I'm curious. They have long weeping branches on them - kind of reminds me of a monster sized version of my new little experiment.

Happy to share the carp Ken - hey, you didn't kill Wild Bill too did you??? ;-)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 4:34PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

come on karen .... hosta.. sprune ... pine.. they are all different plants ...

hosta does not have PINE cones..

and it follows that a spruce will NOT HAVE PINE!!!! CONES ...

they are all conifer [not the hosta] .. because they have cones ... but they do not all have PINE!!!! cones ...

spruce have spruce cones.. yews have yew cones ... etc.. ad nauseum .... i had this discussion with one of my hosta nut friends ... and he looked at me like i was insane.. how could they all not be pine cones.. maybe it has something to do with hosta insanity ....

pine is one of many differing conifers ... if you started learning the latin.. you would start to think of conifers as different groups.. or families.. not just all pines ....

not all evergreens are conifers .... ergo.. not all evergreens have pine cones ....

as to your ID request.. get us a pic...

i have to go make dinner.. i will finish up tomorrow ....


    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 5:25PM
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