my eastern contorted white pine has lost its leader

I took a walk today and noticed my little eastern white pine with the twirled needles lost its top foot - we had a bit of an ice storm earlier this week, and I'm betting someone carelessly whacked it as they passed walking down the sidewalk. It was only about 3 1/2 -4 feet before - now it's about 2 1/2 feet tall. Can I tie up one of the side branches to create a new leader? Has anyone else tried this on a small conifer? I've done it with a deodar cedar, but they often have die back in the leader, which pines normally do not.
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The tree will replace it's own leader, just give it time.
Hemma
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Yes, this is a good idea. The leader is formed by "apical dominance" which means the highest terminal bud gains control. If you can position the end of one branch at least 3 to 4 inches above any other terminal bud, it will gain dominance quickly and, after a couple years, your white pine will look fairly normal again. Otherwise, if you do nothing you risk having several branches seeking dominance and competing with each other.
My experience is as a Christmas tree grower. We are constantly cutting off terminal buds and inducing other buds to seek dominance. That is the way we prevent large spaces between branches.
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Thanks for your advice.....:) Now I have some hope.

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