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White pine seedlings: how to fix missing terminal buds

Posted by yewyew SW OH (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 4, 12 at 14:23

I planted 26 white pine seedlings and discovered that about half have had their terminal buds browsed by deer. The trees are two years old (maybe they are no longer called seedlings at this point?).

Is there a suggested way to best salvage these trees?

I'm thinking something like choosing a healthy-looking side branch and splint it vertically. But I've never done this before and wondered if there was a "proper" way to do it.

Or perhaps a better alternative?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: White pine seedlings: how to fix missing terminal buds

conifers will never grow as well once they've beem topped. however, not all is lost. wait for the plant to send out auxillary shoots near the top, select the best one and remove the rest. let the one you select take over as terminal.


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RE: White pine seedlings: how to fix missing terminal buds

The auxiliary shoots to which you refer - are those that would (normally) eventually become side branches?

And considering the trees were topped in November or December, when should I look for the auxiliary shoots?

Thanks, kk1515


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RE: White pine seedlings: how to fix missing terminal buds

Yewyew, white pines and many conifers will readily form new terminal leaders on their own. Usually, no splinting or even selection is necessary. These trees have long been programed to have such damage occur, and have developed ways to offset the damage.

In the event that on one or more of the trees, multiple leaders do emerge and one doesn't seem to be taking the top spot, then yes, a little judicious pruning of the other shoots may be called for. But that's for down the road. Right now, there's nothing for you to do except wait for the trees to fix themselves. And keep the deer away!

+oM


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RE: White pine seedlings: how to fix missing terminal buds

Yewyew, white pines and many conifers will readily form new terminal leaders on their own. Usually, no splinting or even selection is necessary.
That has been my experience too.

What I have read about doing to protect young trees from deer, is to loosely wrap some wire, like electric fencing wire, around the trunk, leaving the ends sticking up above the tip of the tree. If a deer tries to chomp off the terminal bud, it will come down on the end of the wire and thus, will hopefully just move onto something else.


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