Flowers on Pine Candles…Leave alone? Take off?
The first. Best to leave them alone.
It’s true that flowering weakens a tree a bit. But pine candles are also quite delicate when growing, and sometimes the shoots that flower can be smaller, and smaller means weaker. Taking the flower buds off can really damage that shoot. And any damage that we do to them is therefore rather a double drag, the first with the energy needed to make the flower, and the second to repair the damage in removing them.
Some years pines will flower more than others. Not much to do about that, trees often seem to agree which years they will flower.
Easy, right? Leave them alone. Better than a lot of work, by far…and there are quite a few other things we should be doing, instead.
Red Pine candle with flowers
Ponderosa Pine candle with old flowers, all done pollinating and making us sneeze, these are just about to fall off