Growing Pinus maximartinezii from seed

Alexshep

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Pinus maximartinezii or the maxipiñon. A truly interesting species of pine. There are a few characteristics that make it a really unique among pines. For starters, it is the biggest seed of any pine, averaging about a gram each and up to 3cm long. The juvenile foliage stage lasts for several years after germination giving young trees a very interesting appearance. It has the most cotyledons of any known plant, up to 24 seed leaves in newly-germinated trees. Needles blue-white, come in bundles of 5 and measure about 10cm long. It is not supposedly very cold hardy, listed as zone 9 (-1 C - 4C minimum) so it requires a warm climate to thrive.

I plan to grow this tree indoors however, so it should maintain a nice ambient temperature and get some natural sunlight in the summer. I am not sure if anyone has ever attempted a bonsai of this particular species. I got these particular seeds from a site called conifers garden. 8 Euros for 10 seeds. Pretty expensive, but I was surprised they had this extremely rare species available. Hope to show you my growing progress in the coming weeks.

maxipinyon.jpg
 

Potawatomi13

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One thing you must know that normally growing Pines indoors is a death sentence and robust natural growth will not exist:confused:. Perhaps you have friend with minimally(just above freezing)heated greenhouse for winter weather?
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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As bonsai, I suspect the long needles of Pinus maximartinezii will be an problem. As the species is IUCN listed as Endangered, sourcing seed would be an issue. Export of seed from Mexico would require extensive paperwork. Seeds purchased on eBay, especially if from China, likely will be deliberately mis-label fraud attempts. There are some trees around in botanical gardens and other specialized nurseries, but until you count the cotyledons you can't be sure you got the real thing.

The max pinion grows in mountains, in Mexico, in full sun. It is likely it will not be happy long term as an indoor all year round tree. It might do okay in a greenhouse setting. Under lights, it would need a set up as bright or brighter than what is normally used for marijuana. And more blue frequencies than what is used for marijuana.

A key health issue for growing trees indoors is not enough attention is paid to temperature. Trees need a 15 to 20 degree F, or a 6 to 11 degree C - day night temperature change. If your daytime highs are 80 F, the tree will want to drop into the 60's at night. This temperature change between day and night is important. It allows the tree to slow its metabolism, so that it does not burn up all of the sugars made that day. Cool at night allows the tree to save up sugars, which are stored energy, and these sugars stored beyond what is needed for maintenance metabolism are the sugars that go towards growth.

So, while I encourage having fun. To really grow these pine seedlings well, your best bet is to put them outdoors for the summer and into a greenhouse or a fairly high tech under lights set up for winter. Sunlight through a window simply will not be intense enough.
 

Alexshep

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Leo, thanks for your informative reply. I will make sure to take those things into consideration. I don't have any powerful grow lights so I plan to take care of this tree in a greenhouse for a few years and bring it outside during the summers in full sun. Its final destination will have to be somewhere in the warmer climates of Canada where I'm from. I've transplanted the pine seedling into a larger pot and it's starting to show just how many seed leaves it has. Exciting!

I'm still hesitant to pull off the seed myself, in case I damage the seedling. Then again growing trees from seed is a hobby for the patient-minded like myself. I will just have to wait and see. More updates to come soon.


maxipinyon2.jpg
 

Alexshep

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March 11, I have seen some steady progress. Enough time under my desk lamp to shed its seed coat and let me count how many cotyledons there are. Pinus maximartinezii has anywhere from 18-24 according to Wikipedia.

maxipinyon_cotyledons.jpg

Included the numbers so you don't have to strain your eyes counting. I count 19 so that falls within the expected range of seed leaves. Already, it's started to have a bluish hue. Very cool! I will do my best to nurture this rare species of pine tree to fruition.
There is a regular pinyon pine seedling in the top left corner, significantly smaller than this one!
 

Alexshep

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pines2.jpg

Good news... I've managed to germinate two more of them and the first one is continuing to leaf out nicely. Colour is looking distinctly bluish and light. Currently they are living under a small halogen lamp on our coffee table. Once temperatures outside rise, I will bring them into the full sun.
 

Potawatomi13

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Where are you(not in profile)? These should be outside in safe location if not freezing or pouring rain;). Perhaps cover with wire cage higher than trees.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Halogen lights are the worst, they produce mostly heat and very little usable light.
It's better to get some cheap LED lights; I managed to keep my halepensis pines alive with roughly 45 watts of LED.
 

Alexshep

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Thanks for the wire cage idea Potawatomi, I will be sure to pick some up next time I'm at Canadian Tire (hardware store)

PS: Updated my profile to show my location
 

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