Thanks for playing along. Here were some of the comments:
I bought the pine in December 2014. Here is how it looked upon arrival:
Needles were nice and even.
I let it grow all of 2015 with no pruning, no root work, no fungal problems, full sun, and the heavy feeding program all my pines get. Here is how it appeared after the 2015 growing season:
So why the short needles in 2014?
I suspect the tree was pruned back very hard in spring 2014, and the tree responded with adventitious growth; sporting long candles that took a longer time to open. This meant the needles didn’t have enough time to fully extend before winter hit, and the buds for 2015 were smaller.
Then why were the needles so long in 2015?
Since the buds were smaller, the candles didn’t extend as far in 2015. I let the tree grow…