Columnar Scotch Pine Spring Candle Growth - May 2023

In large April, I planted a small, columnar Scotch Pine tree along the south fence about 1/3rd of the way back.   It was a tree that appears to be field-grown and was sold in a burlap ball that I left in-place.  I used a pair of scissors and cut the burlap that was wrapped/tied around the trunk so the 'top' was sort-of open.  But, I left the burlap in place and planted it that way.  I know there's opinions on which way to go with burlap, but with these small trees, I've found that they come with a big clay clump around their roots and it is best to just leave it as-is to reduce transplant stress.

The tree - just one month or so old (in our yard) is already doing some interesting growth/show.  It is putting out quite a few 'candles' on the tips.  Below are a few photos showing these orange and brown and green candles.  

In the photo above, you can see the cones of the Scotch Pine forming at the base of the candle.

According to this post from the Seattle Japanese Garden, candles are the tree's 'spring growth':

You may notice at this time of year pine trees are covered with prominent upright buds at the branch tips. These are called candles, and they are the spring growth of the tree. They are generally found growing in clusters with a dominant candle surrounded by secondary candles.
I'm taking that (for now...) as a sign of growth - and NOT a sign of stress.  

A couple of years ago, I bought a dwarf White Pine that was leggy and covered in these big, beautiful cones.  I'm *pretty sure* that the cone production on a tree that small was abnormal.  And, it was only producing that quantity and size of cones because it was afraid of death - and the energy it was spending in those cones was a way to try to ensure survival.  That tree didn't make it.

Once I noticed these candles on the Scotch Pine, I've begun to baby it with water.  I'm hoping that we're seeing the natural Spring growth and NOT survival-induced stress.   


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