How to slow grwoth of Eastern White Pines

Hello, I have a privacy border along my house lined with Eastern White Pines. The pines have done quite well in the 4 years I have been in this new construction home. The pines are now about has high as my house and I really don't want them getting much taller, and I want to maintain the shape of the tress which are full from top to bottom. I was told by some, to top the trees to maintain height and keeps them full, top to bottom. From my research on the Internet, topping is a no-no. My idea is, next spring when the terminal leader growth appears is to cut this before the wood hardens. This should maintain the height of the trees. Also, I will stop getting the trees fertilized each year, perhaps just fertilizing them very other year. Comments please...
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It is not normally recommended to fertilize pines period. They are basically trees happiest in less fertile soils, and also soils that are extremely well-drained - even to the point of being sandy or dry. I think your idea of pinching out the growing tips is probably fine, but how will you reach them if they are they same height as your house? It's also possible that without a leader, the tree might start trying to make new leaders from one or more the side branches toward the top - so you'll have to pay attention to that too.

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A UT arboretum study shows that fertilizing pine trees has little effect on growth, unlike deciduous tree. Cutting off the leader will encourage them bush out. I have several 60-foot pine trees, all healthy, and never fertilize them. I do trim the lower branches so that I can mow easily. Many Eastern White pines have been attacked by the Southern pine beetle. If there is some way (plantings under the tree, drains, etc) to limit the water your trees get, they should slow in growth.
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Japanese gardeners do this all the time by constant thinning of needles shearing and pinching of candles but maintaining a tree at a specific height is very labor intensive. Are you sure you are up to the task? It might be better to plant something that doesn't exceed your height requirements ,
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Japanese gardeners do this all the time by constant thinning of needles shearing and pinching of candles but maintaining a tree at a specific height is very labor intensive. Are you sure you are up to the task? It might be better to plant something that doesn't exceed your height requirements ,
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at a

So true....the first year or two you have enthusiasm for the task, but then life intervenes, other tasks and events divert your attention, and one day you look outside and the trees are enormous. Unless you are unusually disciplined they will get away from you. White pines are very fast growers once they get established.
Please consider replacing them with something that will mature at the height you want. If you don't want to lose your privacy screen temporarily, replace alternate trees, then come back in a few years and do the rest.
Cheers, Sue (who once had dreams of espaliered pear trees....after 15 years of trying to keep them in bounds, I bit the bullet and replaced them this spring--what a relief!)
--
snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMearthlink.net
Zone 6, South-central PA
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Plant something else beneath them that will be the mature height you want and in a couple of years have the pines removed by a tree service. Otherwise you'll be out there every single week with timmers in your hand trying to bonsai a potentially 70' tree. A LOT of work. Pines are a poor choice for a privacy screen unless you want a 50' privacy screen. Plant some hollies or other evergreens and run a drip irrigation line to them and fertilize them.
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<< I have a privacy border along my house lined with Eastern White Pines. The pines have done quite well in the 4 years I have been in this new construction home. The pines are now about has high as my house and I really don't want them getting much taller, and I want to maintain the shape of the tress which are full from top to bottom. >><BR><BR>
You can slow the growth of the trees, but eventually they will be 50 feet tall. If you don't want a hedge like that, the correct solution is to remove the pine trees now and plant something else. That said, the temporary solution is to go over each tree every spring and break the candles (new shoots) in half. You can remove the top candle altogether, but this will change the shape of the tree. They probably don't need any fertlizer at this point. Iris, Central NY, Zone 5a, Sunset Zone 40 "If we see light at the end of the tunnel, It's the light of the oncoming train." Robert Lowell (1917-1977)
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Many pines have a tendency to self-prune the lower branches, too. Keeping the top pruned might reduce that tendency, but you would be fighting against a natural tendency. Look at pines in nature and you'll see that using pines as a privacy screen might not be the best use for them(unless you want to plant a thick enough stand for the trunks to act as the screen).

Like others have said, you could try it, but it will be a lot of work. If you want something to block a view at or near ground level, you might want to go with something shorter.
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Use paclobutrazol (Cambistat). A decent growth regulator.
--
Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
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