Norfolk Island Pine Trees

Norfolk Island Pine

Anonymous added on April 8, 2017 | Answered

I purchased a small Norfolk Island Pine (maybe 6-8 inches tall) about 30 years ago. I used to decorate it with tiny Christmas ornaments. It is now about 5 foot tall,but since I made quite a few moves over the years, with less than optimal light some places I have lived, the bottom 3 feet have no branches. Recent years it has been thriving beautifully, but looks odd with no lower branches. Having had this since my first apartment, I can't seem to part with it, regardless of it's odd appearance. Is there any way to "shorten" the trunk, so to speak. Since it has no nodules, I feel certain air layering would not work. Any suggestions? Thank you! PS...As you can see in the photo, I try to disguise the bare trunk!!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 9, 2017

Unfortunately it is difficult to replicate the growing conditions that Norfolk Island prefer. Good sunlight and high humidity.
Incorrect watering, too much or too little can also result in excessive needle and branch dropping.
This is a very old specimen and even though the overall height of the plant is still appropriate to your home, many times these plants outgrown the home environment.
Pruning is not an option with Norfolk Island Pine, topping the plant will just give you a plant with no top.
It really is best to start over with a new plant.

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