Japanese Blue Pine

Allan870December 29, 2013

I purchased a Japanese Blue Pine from Home Depot recently that I got a great deal on. It was normally $45, but I got it for $8.

I have researched online, and depending on the type (dwarf or regular) the tree could get 10-40 feet tall. I was wondering if there was any way for me to figure out if I have a normal sized tree, or a dwarf. I have emailed the nursery who grew the tree, but have received no response.

I can figure out a spot for either size, but I would like to grow it in an appropriate spot so that we can enjoy it for many years to come! I appreciate any help that you can offer.

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Here's the label:

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 10:48AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey al ...

the latin is right there.. google: Pinus parviflora 'Glauca' ... flip to the images side... and then go back an look for annual growth rate info ... [though presuming labels are correct can lead to problems.. lol]

this is a tree... it will grow FOREVER .. or until you kill it ... there is no set height or width ... over the decades ...

see link for a primer on annual growth rates ...

now all that said ... simply look at your plant ... starting at the media ... when put in that pot ... it was about 3 inches tall ... the first whorl ...

pines grow in whorls.. a central bud..which is the leader .... surrounded by branch buds ... the spring after potting.. it grew.. and it is hard w/o a scale.. about 8 inches or so.. set a whorl of buds.. repeated that the next year ... repeated it again ... and then the last growth on the leader is shorter ... probably because it has been in the pot too long .... a year or two after proper planting... it should return to that 8 to 12 inch growth ..

you can do the same with branch estimation ... which is usually shorter than leader growth ...

soooo ... if it grows upwards about 8 inches per year... in ten years.. it should be.. wait for it.. 80 inches tall ... and in 20 ... 160 inches tall ... forever.. subject to abuse and pruning shears ...

now.. as noted.. its been in that pot too long.. most of us would bare root it... and untangle the roots at planting.. and if you want a straight up tree.. i would plant it.. AT THE PROPER depth.. but skewed to straight up ....

others of us.. would use the arc... for a dramatic planting ...

i have no idea if it is zone appropriate for you in Ark ...

what is your base soil...
does it drain ....
etc ...

for 8 bucks.. have fun with it.. learn ... go for it ... not much lost ...

good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 11:06AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

there is a rather active conifer forum ... but most of us visit both .. so no need to duplicate the post ... but should you wish to become enabled.. we do pretty good over there.. lol ...

though a tree.. its is a subcategory know as a conifer ...

planting either is the same ... see link ...

do not treat it like a perennial ... native soil.. no amendments.. special clay rules, if any ... mulch heavily, but properly .. and let it near dry between DEEP waterings ... none of this spray it down every night stuff ... and i doubt it will ever need fert ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 11:10AM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

What a deal!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 12:11PM
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That tree will get pretty big. I would bare root and untangle the roots because I'm sure its a mess. I don't know what part of Arkansas you're in, but I'm growing a few Pinus parviflora southwest of Little Rock. Nice looking tree.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Hi allan870,
You have a nice specimen of the blue form of Japanese White Pine. There is nothing to indicate that you have a dwarf.
I can remember seeing a nice mature JWP at the Winterthur Gardens Pinetum in Delaware which was easily 40'X40'. I distinctly remember how it holds onto the previous years cones. These trees form interesting, horizontal layers or tiers.
If for some reason you want to keep your tree to 7-8' in height you could train it like this. This type of training is an art form and takes many years of practice and diligence with no shade cast on the tree.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 2:21PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Based on the label you have a plant selected for its "bluer" needles or simply put its the blue group. Pinus parviflora 'Glauca' is no longer considered a cultivar similar to the confusion created with Picea pungens 'Glauca'.

Pinus parviflora is actually a fairly heat tolerant pine but your plant "may" be grafted to Pinus strobus but it could just as well be from seed.

Might want to find out how Pinus strobus grows in AR to site it properly just in case. Not sure if I'd put it in hot dry soil down there because of that.

Nice pick up by the way. Pinus parviflora growth rates are one of those affected greatly by precipitation. Growth rates as you can see just by looking at your plant is anywhere from 3-12". I can guarantee you that it will be in that range and vary from year to year. This is considered an intermediate plant vs a large growing plant.

By the way trees do not grow at their annual growth rate forever. It varies greatly but in general they start to slow greatly once they approach their mature height.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 3:25PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

sure whaas... in 30 to 40 years .. lol ...

there is a way.. thru tip pruning elogating buds .. IN SPRING... to dwarf a pine ... to some extent ....

visit the conifer forum when and if that time comes ... actually.. visit a few weeks in advance.. timing is imperative .....

but i wouldnt do that the first year of transplant ...


    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 3:31PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Yes Pinus parv responds very well to candle pruning to get a more compact shape. The one Sam shows us is a good example. I wouldn't doubt if that plant is 40 years old.

Here are couple of mine.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Thanks for the help everybody. I had seen the scientific name on the label, but I didn't know if the labeling was as bad as the labels for Japanese Maples at Home Depot. :)

abciximab, I live in Batesville. Pretty similar weather, just a few degrees cooler up here.

I do believe that I will allow it to keep its curve. My house is on a 6 acres, and the soil really varies. It is pretty rocky, and some areas is rocky clay. I also have about 200 acres, and the soil is sandy, So I have several different options, and that's why I was just wondering. I have been reading about candle pruning for some of my mugo pines. I just haven't done it yet, so that makes me a little nervous.

But I appreciate all of the photos and information that you have shared with me. It has greatly helped! And the sale was really good that they were running. I also picked up 50 Boxwoods that were normally priced $6.98, for $1.75. So I have a lot of planting to do!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 1:25PM
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I did run across a page where a guy kept his Japanese Pine pruned, and smaller in size. I would love to be able to keep it around this size. I am planning on installing a water feature this spring. I have several different Japanese Maples that I was thinking about planting around it. But I also think that this tree would look good in the area too.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 1:30PM
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