pcride
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How do I prune this to a tight shape?

How do I prune this pine tree? We want to keep the shape tight and neat looking, over last season its grown to be a bit shabby. Should I be cutting it right above the Y ?

Any other tips to help me better understand keeping up this pine to look good? We want the clouds or pads to be defined. Its already been groomed to that shape, but just need to know the basic of pruning a pine like this without killing it.

Thank you!

See pictures here
https://tinyurl.com/okh8evk

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: How do I prune this to a tight shape?

Are you trying to bonsai?
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

pcride
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Re: How do I prune this to a tight shape?

We are just trying to retain the shape it was already carved in. I think so yes we are trying to bonsai it. Not clear where to cut the branches and if it will kill the tree etc...

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: How do I prune this to a tight shape?

I have sheared pines before so if you just do a little trimming as you propose to do in the second picture it will retain the shape and make the leaves smaller.

When you cut tips it will branch out from the tip and you need to cut lower than you think. Not where you want it to stop but where you want it to start to bush out.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: How do I prune this to a tight shape?

Bonsai refers to trees in pots (usually small pots). Keeping them in pots stunts their growth, so they are usually miniaturized versions of full sized old trees. If I am remembering right, yours is in the ground, so regardless of how it is shaped, I don't think you can call it a bonsai.
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imafan26
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Re: How do I prune this to a tight shape?

That is true, Rainbow, bonsai are trained potted trees. The pine really is not in any bonsai style. The branches are too evenly spaced and the lateral lines are too strait. I would probably be more correct to call it topiary more than bonsai. Bonsai would probably be a subset of topiary. Japanese gardens though, do follow bonsai training rules when trimming the in-ground plants. Topiary, though, can be more geometrical or whimsical in style.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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