Anyone with sugar pines? (Pinus lambertiana)

Vance Wood

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Just like they're none with Bristle cone Pines.
 
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Vance are you able to post a picture of a sugar pine that looks like the memory you mentioned. I ask, not at all for the sake of argument, but instead out of interest and curiosity. I'm wondering if my mental image of them is only one form that the tree takes, and maybe there are others. As I mentioned, the ones I've seen have very regular appearance with perfectly horizontal branching, that wouldnt make a very interesting model for bonsai.

Thank youz
 

Vance Wood

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I think my memory was of the foliage pad not the configuration of the branches. This was over fifty years ago very early in my bonsai education and exposure.
 

Vance Wood

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Of the American Five-needle Pines there are two that could make really good bonsai but you do not see them in many/any collections, Limbar Pine we see sometimes, Bristlecone Pines we see almost never as well as White Bark Pine, almost never. Western White Pine, and Sugar Pine are seldom used because the needle length is so difficult to control. I believe when the dust up for the designer's cup in Oregon by Ryan Neil had and incident where a Western White PIne had a pot damaged in the move to the display. Could be wrong, my memory is not quite as sharp as it used to be.
 

Vance Wood

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I have a book called conifers of California, and the whotebark pine is one of my absolute favorites in it
That's true but try to find one. They are considered an endangered species and as such I don't think you can even collect seeds at this point.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Pinus flexilis, the Limber Pine, is definitely more adaptable to horticulture than most of the other high mountain white pines. It is also widely distributed, and available to "mere mortals" in the nursery trade. So worth looking for and working with. The needles are longer than Japanese white pine, averaging about 4 inches, give or take, about the same as eastern white pine (strobus). Limber pine, at least from what I have seen, actually responds similar to bonsai techniques as a Japanese white pine. So definitely look for Limber pine as an alternative to JWP.
 

oddirt

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I don’t want to divert too much from the sugar pines but Sheffield’s does carry white bark pine (P albicaulis) seeds. I have fond memories seeing them up at the tree line in the eastern Sierras. A few of them actually germinated from stratified seeds recently. Now for the decades-long wait, if they survive Sunset zone 16.

22CBC6ED-7515-416C-8408-95BAECC4F237.jpeg

BTW, you can get seedlings of P lambertiana over at sequoiatrees.com. I’ve got a few on the journey to bonsai—I’m a bit of a native plant bonsai nut, having made it a goal to develop one of every California native tree. It’s a goddamn big state with a lot of tree.

@Townes Van Tortoise, it’s great to see others on here that are as passionate about native trees. We can push the boundaries of the bonsai art form, raise awareness around conservation ecology, and appreciate what is around us.
 
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Vance Wood

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I don’t want to divert too much from the sugar pines but Sheffield’s does carry white bark pine (P albicaulis) seeds. I have fond memories seeing them up at the tree line in the eastern Sierras. A few of them actually germinated from stratified seeds recently. Now for the decades-long wait, if they survive Sunset zone 16.

View attachment 296181

BTW, you can get seedlings of P lambertiana over at sequoiatrees.com. I’ve got a few on the journey to bonsai—I’m a bit of a native plant bonsai nut, having made it a goal to develop one of every California native tree. It’s a goddamn big state with a lot of tree.

@Townes Van Tortoise, it’s great to see others on here that are as passionate about native trees. We can push the boundaries of the bonsai art form, raise awareness around conservation ecology, and appreciate what is around us.
I wish you a lot of luck, that's an admirable goal and I hope you succeed.
 

Potawatomi13

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I don’t want to divert too much from the sugar pines but Sheffield’s does carry white bark pine (P albicaulis) seeds. I have fond memories seeing them up at the tree line in the eastern Sierras. A few of them actually germinated from stratified seeds recently. Now for the decades-long wait, if they survive Sunset zone 16.

View attachment 296181

BTW, you can get seedlings of P lambertiana over at sequoiatrees.com. I’ve got a few on the journey to bonsai—I’m a bit of a native plant bonsai nut, having made it a goal to develop one of every California native tree. It’s a goddamn big state with a lot of tree.

@Townes Van Tortoise, it’s great to see others on here that are as passionate about native trees. We can push the boundaries of the bonsai art form, raise awareness around conservation ecology, and appreciate what is around us.
If you can get seed or a good cone for Pinus torreyana ssp insularis Please let me know. Torreyana easy.....insularis not so much! Was suggested to me by University to go out to the island and collect seed. Maybe you much closer than I?
 

Potawatomi13

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Pinus flexilis, the Limber Pine, is definitely more adaptable to horticulture than most of the other high mountain white pines. It is also widely distributed, and available to "mere mortals" in the nursery trade. So worth looking for and working with. The needles are longer than Japanese white pine, averaging about 4 inches, give or take, about the same as eastern white pine (strobus). Limber pine, at least from what I have seen, actually responds similar to bonsai techniques as a Japanese white pine. So definitely look for Limber pine as an alternative to JWP.
However try to find a genuine unadulterated Pinus flexilis is not quite so easy. Usually some stupid cultivar:mad:!
 

BonsaiDawg

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Of the American Five-needle Pines there are two that could make really good bonsai but you do not see them in many/any collections, Limbar Pine we see sometimes, Bristlecone Pines we see almost never as well as White Bark Pine, almost never. Western White Pine, and Sugar Pine are seldom used because the needle length is so difficult to control. I believe when the dust up for the designer's cup in Oregon by Ryan Neil had and incident where a Western White PIne had a pot damaged in the move to the display. Could be wrong, my memory is not quite as sharp as it used to be.
There are a ton of Limber Pines that have been collected and turned into high quality bonsai trees in this country over the last 10 years. Bristlecones are just now starting to emerge from 'rare' to 'uncommon' as bonsai here in the West. White Bark Pine are a very threatened species and as a result are prohibited from being collected on public land in all western states... And western white pine... Rarely see it as a bonsai or in the western coastal ranges - it has been severely logged and suffers greatly from white pine blister rust
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Limber pine more adaptable to horticulture?? Not buying it.... Please explain why...
Limber pine is not as susceptible to white pine blister rust as other other white pines, as you listed yourself. Limber pine is relatively common, comes from a wide area and a wider range of altitudes than white bark pine, southwestern white pine and western white pine and much more widespread than the bristlecone white pines.

I know of several old collected specimens and some younger trees in the MidWest, and they do not seem to suffer the decline issues I have witnessed with species like bristlecone pine.

That is why I commented. Do I own one? no. But 3 old collected trees do belong to fellow Milwaukee Bonsai Society members, who I stay in touch with, and I occasionally get updates or get to see their trees, because before Covid19, we actually would visit each other in real life.
 

oddirt

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I wish you a lot of luck, that's an admirable goal and I hope you succeed.
A lot of species are likely unsuitable for bonsai due to leaf size, lack of reduction, take too long to develop, or may not be suitable for my climate. But I hope to document the experience so that others can build on it or make their own judgments. There are so many species without documented experience, or at least are hard to find on the internet and the limited books and magazines I have access to. The effort's either admirable or foolhardy 😅.
 

BonsaiDawg

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A lot of species are likely unsuitable for bonsai due to leaf size, lack of reduction, take too long to develop, or may not be suitable for my climate. But I hope to document the experience so that others can build on it or make their own judgments. There are so many species without documented experience, or at least are hard to find on the internet and the limited books and magazines I have access to. The effort's either admirable or foolhardy 😅.
Amen brother. Ever considered adding arbutus menziesii (pacific madrone) to your list? I've been experimenting the last 3 years
 

oddirt

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If you can get seed or a good cone for Pinus torreyana ssp insularis Please let me know. Torreyana easy.....insularis not so much! Was suggested to me by University to go out to the island and collect seed. Maybe you much closer than I?
I haven't moved on in my collection to the ssp level but will keep an eye out. I imagine it'd be impossible to get collection permits because of their status. However, the Jepson Manual mentions some that were planted in Santa Barbara, and that did not establish well. Might be worth checking out after the shelter in place.
 
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