Growing Pinus Nigra from seed

emorrin

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This year I will be growing Austrian Pines (Pinus Nigra) from seed. I know it is a long journey (i.e. 20+ years). I am in my 30's so it is now or never.

The reason why I have chosen this species is A.) The seeds are free from Austrian Pines adjacent to my back yard. B.) No one seems to be growing this species in the U.S. My plan is to grow some stock (i.e. 30 to 50) for my self and to sell later on to help support my "habit" (i.e. bonsai supplies).

I am roughly going to go by the method outlined in the Stone Lantern "Pines" book. I will grow some in the ground, some in grow boxes, some in pond baskets, and some in training pot for variety. My only concern is why are people in the U.S. not growing them? I only seem to see collected examples. Have I missed something that is negative about this species? Is there anything special I should be doing versus growing Japanese Black Pines from seed?

I like this species just as much if not more than Japanese Black Pines. They seem to be able to tolerate the cold and heat better versus the JBP.

I also will be growing some Scotch Pines (Pinus sylvestris) from seed this year as well. There is plenty of info on them though unlike the Pinus Nigra. Hopefully I am not making a mistake in growing Austrian Pines.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Growing anything from seed is rewarding, if you have the patience. I've been growing JBP from seed for fun - but if I added all my time up I would probably save money buying 5 year-old stock :) Have fun and take lots of pictures!
 

AlainK

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I don't think it will take as long as 30 years, depending on what you aim for : I sowed this one in 2000-2002 (not sure of the exact year), and it stayed in the same pot as a scots pine for several years.



In september 2007, I separated the two and planted the black pine in a pond basket.

December 2007:



This is what it looks like now, I've just repotted it. It's quite thin, and 70 cm high. Of course, if you prefer big fatsos, you'll have to wait longer, but I like literati.



More ramification is needed, the top is to be refined, and the needles are still very long, but I'm beginning to have an idea of what it might become in a couple more years...
 

emorrin

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Thanks for showing a couple of examples. I am going to try different styles (i.e. literati, fat shohins, cascade). I am also going to try different techniques to thicken up the trunk (i.e. tile under plant, let wire dig in, super feeding, etc.). I am hoping to build of stock of at least half a dozen of each style. I guess I will se how it goes.

Right now I am just waiting another week or so. We are still getting sub freezing temperatures on some nights in Chicago. I actually started an experiment a little over a month ago. I used one pine cone and got 12 good seeds (i.e. they were right size and sunk in water after 3 days). Out of those 12 seeds, 9 germinated so I am pretty confident I can get a good batch started. I have been growing them indoors near a window, and using fluorescent lighting, so I think they are a bit leggy. I will probably cut the roots twice on them to get them shorter. I am going to grow my main batch outdoors.
 

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