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Specialty Pruning & Candling Workshop

May 6 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Join James Hitz, Horticulturalist, to learn specialized pruning techniques focused on a variety of conifers and other plants, including candling conifers. The arboretum is home to over 400 types of conifers and participants will get the opportunity to practice hands-on.

Participants should bring their own pruners and gloves. If you don’t have pruners, we have a few to share.

Program Fee: $10 per arboretum member/$15 per non-member




pine candleWhat is candling?

Article taken from Seattle Japanese Garden

Pine candles are selectively removed to create the pine’s distinctive form.

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. Left in place, the dominant candle becomes a long straight branch and the secondary candles grow into the side branches.

April to May is when we begin the spring pruning process, or “candling,”. This time of year we are able to take advantage of the tender new growth and snap off candles with our fingers. Simply put, candling is the act of selectively removing or reducing the size of the candle to reduce or restrict the growth of the tree itself.

It is by controlling this growth that we are able to maintain the distinctive shape of the pine trees. When the dominant candle is removed, the growth of the mature branch is shortened. Without having to use its energy to grow this main branch, the tree can now put more energy into the secondary candles. When shortened, these secondary candles produce shorter and denser growth further lending to the form.

All of this spring growing and finger pruning sets the stage for the Pine pruning done in the Fall. This is when we prune the woody growth and make larger decisions about form.


To request a disability-related accommodation for this event, please contact the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at edi@pnw.edu or (219) 785-5545 five days prior to the event.


May 6
10:00 am - 11:30 am
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