I've been nibbling away at my large pines over the last few weeks to keep the new growth in check. As you can see there were many candles that needed trimming. It's quite an even growth with no slow zones and no dominant apex - just good balanced growth.
I have taken off the very strong candles as they show up and left the little ones untouched. I'm not pinching but rather waiting until they are mostly extended and I can see the needles forming. This allows me to cut precisely and leave the number of needles I want in the area. I'm leaving 10 pairs mostly.
I am also trying to leave things a little untidy as I don't want it to look like topiary.
I am also undecided as to the front as there are several good angles. Initially I liked the left immediately above image on the left as the front - but the crown is too heavy for this. A little trimming may fix this - not something I want to do in a hurry though. Plenty of time to decide.
The medium pine is running a few weeks faster than the large one as usual even though they sit together on the bench outside in identical conditions. I have also only trimmed the dominant areas or candles to keep things balanced. I do need to do another round to get everything down to the desired length.
Both of these were repotted this year so I am going gently on them.
Tomorrow if I feel energetic I will do the final fine trim on this one for the season. I want to get it done early so I don't miss the timing for setting next years buds.
The entire apex has grown after I purchased the collected tree - and is now taking a lot of work to get under control - but I have the luxury of almost infinite density there now. Every single needle on the top has tried to shoot - so its been a lot of nibbling.
Also - neither of them contain any wire at the moment so that's all got to go in still. I think they will look quite good by the time it's all done.
It's been enjoyable getting to know these pines and seeing now differently two trees of the same species can behave under near identical conditions.