Anyone with sugar pines? (Pinus lambertiana)

Bonsai Nut

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Five needle pine that grows on the West Coast. Considered the largest pine in the world (?) Cones can measure up to 24". Saw a lot of them up in the mountains about a week ago - but never heard of anyone using them for bonsai.
 

yenling83

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Incredibly beautiful pines! I would love to see someone start working with them and become the Sugar Pine Champion, that seems to usually be what it takes before the tree type becomes more popular. Lots of good native pine varieties for us to work with. Sugar pine are likely hard to find with pocket roots. I'm sure they are out there, but not as common to find with pocket roots as many other types of pines that grow in pockets of solid rock.
 

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I just ordered one to mess around with - not bonsai or even pre-bonsai, but a tree in a pot from a natives nursery.

Having seen so many in the mountains just east of here, and knowing their native range extends into Baja, I am curious to see about needle reduction.
 

Anthony

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Hey you guys what about Pinus cembroides -------------- supposed to have 1" needles
and comes from your side of the world ------- Mexico.

Always looking for a "Tropical White Pine " with 1 inch needles.
Good Day
Anthony
 

yenling83

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I just ordered one to mess around with - not bonsai or even pre-bonsai, but a tree in a pot from a natives nursery.

Having seen so many in the mountains just east of here, and knowing their native range extends into Baja, I am curious to see about needle reduction.
Nice! A great option would also be to order or collect some seed and do a few through seedling cutting. I'm sure that would work. Wire some movement into that bad boy and grow it out. Working on the roots, combing them out during every re-potting is the key to a good nebari. I think it's just like Ponderosa in that generally the needles would look best on large size trees. Not sure if it's a single or multi flush pine.
 
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I just ordered one to mess around with - not bonsai or even pre-bonsai, but a tree in a pot from a natives nursery.

Having seen so many in the mountains just east of here, and knowing their native range extends into Baja, I am curious to see about needle reduction.
The sugar pines ive experienced have 2-3 inch needles or am i misidentifying this tree? 5 needle pine with noteworthy horizontal branches?
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I have never seen a sugar pine in the wild. The "wikipedia description" with it's relatively short needles caught my eye.

As we speak, I have a packet worth of seed in moist sphagnum moss, in a plastic bag in my refrigerator, stratifying for spring.

Time will tell. Years before I could say yes, no or maybe as a good species for bonsai.

But the description of the tree seems promising. Hopefully quicker growing than JWP, hopefully not as open and poor in growth habit as P. strobus.
 

Vance Wood

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It is my understanding that they are suseptable to a host of diseases. I remember Northern California was covered with them especially in the area around Mr. Shasta.
 
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I have collected a couple young trees from an area due to be cleared of trees. Whenever I'm new to collecting a species or area I like to try my hand before possibly killing the bonsai prospects. The smaller of the two is actually kind of a handsome small tree but still nothing to write home about. I'll let you know if they make it since it's been about a month (we had some early warmth this year).

When I saw mention of needle reduction as one if the first comments about the species, I started thinking what I had wasnt sugar pine since the needles are the smallest I've seen on a native, but I guess even smaller would be nice.
 

RKatzin

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Fairly common in my neck of the woods, got two big ones in the front yard. I've been thinking of collecting some seedlings/saplings I see here and there just to see what I can do on the grow out. I've never come across one that tripped my bonsai button, but I've always enjoyed them in the wild.
 
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Are those what's called "Bull Pine" around Sonora?
That's ponderosa....at least according to google hah...I thought I had heard P. sabiniana referred to as bull pine too but maybe not. Who knows though maybe in Sonora it's different. Common names cause alit of confusion. We are talking about P. lambertiana
 

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Fairly common in my neck of the woods, got two big ones in the front yard. I've been thinking of collecting some seedlings/saplings I see here and there just to see what I can do on the grow out. I've never come across one that tripped my bonsai button, but I've always enjoyed them in the wild.
I found an awesome one once. The thing was old with thick bark but it looked like classic pine yamadori you see collected. The trunk went up about a foot then tapered to a single branch that curved back on itself before becoming ramified. Unfortunately, like almost all the other trees in the area, i discovered it to be uncollectable and left it to live out its life. The thing was growing between about a 6-8 inch gap in granite slab that wouldnt budge. I could tell the reason it was so dwarfed was because it couldn't possibly get any wider at its base. I did collect a couple young ones for wxperimentstion as I mentioned earlier, since they were doomed to be growing under the power lines. I think the large ones almost look like redwoods I see grown in the cities around here. I dont really think their natural shape would be great to model a bonsai after, but sometimes when trees have special meaning to people they would love to have a bonsai version. However I think I would try to create some foliage pads and include more negative space
 

Mike Corazzi

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That's ponderosa....at least according to google hah...I thought I had heard P. sabiniana referred to as bull pine too but maybe not. Who knows though maybe in Sonora it's different. Common names cause alit of confusion. We are talking about P. lambertiana
All I remember is that they were fire hazard weeds. Long needles that dropped forever. Limbs would break if you looked at them.

Really crummy. And I had 3 of them cluttering the place. :mad:
 
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All I remember is that they were fire hazard weeds. Long needles that dropped forever. Limbs would break if you looked at them.

Really crummy. And I had 3 of them cluttering the place. :mad:
The 'bull' pines? If they had long needles it wasnt sugar pines. And I'm not saying this to be argumentative but im guessing that was just the human view of things. Fire hazard is really a funny term becasue fire is part of nature's recycling process. All of the so called closed cone pines can't produce offspring without fire. Dont get me wrong I understand that a fire on our 'property' is a cause for concern but I would love to live somewhere that has ponderosa or any other pines naturally growing on it. Also, some awesome bonsai are made from naturally stunted ponderosa.

Another example that comes to mind is the california juniper. When I was researching collecting cali junipers I kept coming across websites either instructing landowners how to remove them or offering services to remove them for a steep fee. I guess people consider them a 'weed' or nuisance, and here I am driving at least an hour to find them.

I see these houses in the middle of an awesome pinyon-juniper woodland that also includes tucker oak and of course the pinyon pines and junipers, all.of which h are awesome treee; but they're planting the ugliest pines (canary island, eldarica, etc.) that are foreign. Not to mention the arborvita which is nothing as attractive as the native junipers. Anyway I could rant but I think my point is that sometimes its easier to try to live in harmony than to dominate every aspect. But at the same time, the way I see it is to each their own. I dont like people telling me what to do so I try not to do it to others. Just offering a different view point, for whatever it's worth. I assumed most people that live in rural areas do so because they love the land where they live. But I find more and more that I cannot grasp other people's thought processes. Maybe since you were speaking in past tense it means that you decided that's not where you wanted to be? I'm currently searching for cheap land that is completely in the realm of fire hazardous and has as many 'weedy' pines cluttering the place as possible. Even those pesky 'cedars' that are junipers.

Anyway my two cents. It doesn't mean I think my way is better or that I dont like you, just that i couldnt relate to your comment in any sense.

Good day to you
 

Vance Wood

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My memory of Sugar Pine is that their pads are classical in shape almost as if formed by a bonsai artist in nature,
 
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It's likely they vary in appearance with different environments. The ones I see usually have a dominant straight trunk and perfectly straight branches without large gaps between these branches.

But I know the sinleleaf pinyon pine looks like a super bushy perfect Christmas tree near cuyama, but extremely gnarled, irregular, and picturesque in eastern sierras near tehachapi.

I would be very interested in seeing a photo like you described, even just one from the internet. I found one that was slightly that way. Is the first photo like your temembering? The second photo is more like what I see
 

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Mike Corazzi

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TVT....Neither of those pix in the previous post look like the pines I was referring to and which I do not know the name of.
That doesn't mean I don't like you but it's pretty damn close.

Good day to you, too.
 
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The pics, as mentioned, are sugar pines. The "bull pines", as mentioned, are ponderosa. That is probably why they do not look the same. One thing I like about bonsai, is it shows concretely, that what I give is what I get . I nurture and care for my trees, they respond with vigor and beauty. If I neglect them and I get no reward for any previous efforts.


It surprises me how many bonsai enthusiasts here fail to notice this obvious lesson. Or maybe they like being miserable, and that's why they spread gruff. A bonsai guy who hates the native pines around him? Meh, I've already spent enough time in the gutter so you'll have to excuse me from this discussion. Btw, have you heard of Google, its how I figured out what a bull pine is. It also provides images of sugar pines, so you could see if that's what you were thinking of. But I posted some pictures anyway so you could know what tree we were talking about. I wasn't taking stabs at finding photographs that would exactly match some tree you do not know the name of and do not like. Now I will continue having a good day, thanks for wishes, however sarcastic and insincere they might be.

Hopefully you can find a way to do the same. I don't dislike you , just feel sorry for you. And I choose not to return the gruff. I guess I am just immune to your strain of miserablès .
 
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