Young Japanese Black Pine tidy up

DSC_0005Another pine, this time JBP that I’ve had since bought as a seedling online four or five years ago. Again, I’d like this to be literati which is why it has been growing in the box and remains slender.  I’d like to beef up the bottom some more so I decided to pluck out extra buds from the top and remove a lot of needles from the upper trunk.  There is a decent sized bud at the bottom which I’d like to encourage next year.  Some slight inverse taper is beginning to appear at the point where you can see a set of ‘handlebar’ branches in the lower half.  I decided to remove one of them.  At some point over the winter I’ll wire the trunk to make it more interesting.  A long way to go with this one before the bark matures and fissures – I may try and speed things up next year by wrapping it moss.

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Foiled by bugs!

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This is a very young Scots Pine that I bought two years ago online.  I’m growing it a seed tray while another the same age grows in the ground as a longer term project.  This is going to be a literati tree at some point and I don’t want it being any taller.  Anyway I had planned to wire the trunk earlier this week but after clearing the dead needles I noticed upon close inspection the presence of some bug infestation.

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DSC_0006You might just be able to make the blighters out – very small, grey mite-like creatures.  Anyway, I changed my mind about wiring the tree and instead blasted it with Provado. Hopefully it’ll work and I’ll carry out the wiring later in the autumn.  Any ideas what they are?