This thinning of foliage, called momiage in Japanese, is crucial once the framework or structure pruning is built. It prevents an inevitable extension of branches on the subjects which grow older, due to the centrifugal mortality, result from a lack of light in the center of the tree. It can be done in the fall or early winter before the buds opening.
This action cleans the underside of the main branch, allows light to penetrate to the lower branches and has the significant advantage of promoting a strong back budding. He will give tight buds that will need to be clarified later and will be maintained only on the top.
In Japan, this thinning is drastic, leaving only four new shoots and removing all the needles that are not of the year. Here is Thierry, trainee of the Academy “NIWAKI Inspiration ZEN” at work!