I'm getting all sorts of strange looking buds coming up one of the small Scots pines. It seems that those in the know are hard parted with the knowledge of this species. Most focus on the Japanese black pine - which is more forgiving to work with as it will have many periods of growth in a single season. The Scots pine only has one flush of growth - then its all over till the next year. It is possible to have a second period of growth late in the season if the tree is very healthy and well fed.
I have also been gradually removing the 3 year old needles. I cut them off and leave a 5mm stub which falls off on its own in a few weeks. I'm hoping that this gentle loss of foliage will spur on the late season growth without doing any harm.
I have been a little surprised at the vigour of this tree as it was almost bare rooted. I used biogold in the early season - which the pines seem to love. Now they are on strong chemical fertiliser alternated with chicken manure weekly. I try to keep them on rain water for the PH which the pines like - but often they just get hosed.