Mondell Pine- Pinus eldarica

Messages
484
Reaction score
681
Location
Southwest US z8
USDA Zone
8a
Got this today. Mondell pines are also known as Afghan pines and come from the Middle East. Perfect for our climate of hot, dry summers. There are many planted in landscapes around the city, so they do fine with the cold we get

These supposedly grow fairly fast. From what I saw at two nurseries I looked at, they backbud

I know one issue I’ll have to overcome is the knobby parts where a lot of branches sprout from. Also, many had root wrap issues. I didn’t bother looking into that for this one

This one is 3’ tall. The close up photos are about 10”

I think my goal is a nice sized informal upright. Would prob help since the needles are quite long. I’d like to cut the top down 2’ and keep movement going

I would also like to try to keep the look on their natural poofy, cloud puff side if possible (last photo is off Google for reference)
 

Attachments

  • 41ED997C-03A8-4723-923E-8AC84A634836.jpeg
    41ED997C-03A8-4723-923E-8AC84A634836.jpeg
    390.9 KB · Views: 28
  • C8179289-8F79-4D39-89B2-41841558322C.jpeg
    C8179289-8F79-4D39-89B2-41841558322C.jpeg
    289.9 KB · Views: 26
  • 19E3313C-EC39-464B-8BCD-441BAB683EAA.jpeg
    19E3313C-EC39-464B-8BCD-441BAB683EAA.jpeg
    344.6 KB · Views: 26
  • 0ED05B60-2906-4A4C-A33D-3BD06D4B24D9.jpeg
    0ED05B60-2906-4A4C-A33D-3BD06D4B24D9.jpeg
    189 KB · Views: 25
Last edited:

Potawatomi13

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,101
Reaction score
3,536
Location
Eugene, OR
USDA Zone
8
Do research on tree. Perhaps this pine(?)has huge weakness if roots too damp/wet. Get root rot and die easily.:(
 

Leo in N E Illinois

The Professor
Messages
10,314
Reaction score
20,441
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
Pinus brutia var eldarica according to Wikipedia. The P brutia nominal form is native to Turkey and areas east, the form P. brutia var eldarica picks up in Afghanistan. It is quite drought tolerant for a pine. For the drought resistance var eldarica has been used in some forestry schemes in the south and western USA.

Drought tolerance when planted in the ground may, or may not make a noticeable difference in horticulture when growing in a pot, you will still have to supply regular water.

Pinus b. var. eldarica is in the Pinaster subsection of genus Pinus, which means it will likely have the bad habits of frequently and easily reverting to juvenile foliage after pruning. Major pruning will definitely cause reversion to juvenile foliage for a season or two. You will have to figure out how much or how little is the right amount of pruning to keep mature foliage. Or figure how to prune to keep all juvenile foliage. Mix of juvenile and mature foliage is usually considered poor form for exhibition.

This problem with reversion to juvenile foliage is the reason pines in the Pinaster subsection are seldom used for bonsai. All pines can be forced to revert to juvenile foliage, for the species commonly used for bonsai, they seldom revert, only reverting under extreme bad horticulture. Some revert easily, like the Pinaster subsection.
 
Messages
484
Reaction score
681
Location
Southwest US z8
USDA Zone
8a
Pinus brutia var eldarica according to Wikipedia. The P brutia nominal form is native to Turkey and areas east, the form P. brutia var eldarica picks up in Afghanistan. It is quite drought tolerant for a pine. For the drought resistance var eldarica has been used in some forestry schemes in the south and western USA.

Drought tolerance when planted in the ground may, or may not make a noticeable difference in horticulture when growing in a pot, you will still have to supply regular water.

Pinus b. var. eldarica is in the Pinaster subsection of genus Pinus, which means it will likely have the bad habits of frequently and easily reverting to juvenile foliage after pruning. Major pruning will definitely cause reversion to juvenile foliage for a season or two. You will have to figure out how much or how little is the right amount of pruning to keep mature foliage. Or figure how to prune to keep all juvenile foliage. Mix of juvenile and mature foliage is usually considered poor form for exhibition.

This problem with reversion to juvenile foliage is the reason pines in the Pinaster subsection are seldom used for bonsai. All pines can be forced to revert to juvenile foliage, for the species commonly used for bonsai, they seldom revert, only reverting under extreme bad horticulture. Some revert easily, like the Pinaster subsection.
Oh, my thought of drought tolerance wasn’t so I didn’t have to water it. It was more on the heat tolerance part. Although knowing it prob won’t die if I miss a watering is nice. It is prob a species that doesn’t like having wet feet

Interesting info on the subspecies part. Makes sense

Not sure what juvenile needles look like. I know what they are for juniper. I assume shorter clumps are juvenile and longer ones are mature

None of my stuff will ever be in a show. This is a hobby and as long as I like it, I’m happy

I’ll work on more research on the species as well as pines in general as this is my first real attempt at a pine
 

Arnold

Omono
Messages
1,334
Reaction score
1,951
Location
Canary Islands, Spain
USDA Zone
11B
Yes, the juvenile needles are short and blue and only grows one per bud, Pinus brutia its very similar to Pinus halepensis Aleppo pine you can search about them there some more information about those in bonsai. And yes like Canary island pine or Stone pine Pinaster section are prone to juvenile growth in adaptation to sprout after fires or any damage.
 
Messages
484
Reaction score
681
Location
Southwest US z8
USDA Zone
8a
So with some reading I found, I believe they do backbud easily. Same person did a pretty hefty trunk chop and put out a good amount of growth, so I chopped off the top

These apparently grow about 12” a yr

First pic shows the 20” length from top to knobby at bottom of pic I will cut. This leaves me with a 15” trunk. It also leaves me with a lot of room for new shoots to grow in the right spot to use later. I’m hoping something shoots down low near the curve

Pic 4 shows what I have left as well as how much was cut off

Pic 5 is a close up toward the new top showing a lot of buds already (and a pretty good show of juvenile vs mature needles)

And since the top was cut and I had an extra pot with soil, I figured I’d see if I could do some cuttings. Tore them to get a heel, put some rooting powder on them, and covered with the bottom part of a gallon milk jug (which fits pretty tightly. Should keep it humid enough). I have no good way to do cuttings, so I’ll just see if this works. Not a big deal if it doesn’t work
 

Attachments

  • 87002757-05B6-4457-B3F1-3F7A0F5EB86C.jpeg
    87002757-05B6-4457-B3F1-3F7A0F5EB86C.jpeg
    415 KB · Views: 9
  • 4364F79D-1907-445F-B903-7EC77FB57FF3.jpeg
    4364F79D-1907-445F-B903-7EC77FB57FF3.jpeg
    452.2 KB · Views: 7
  • 730B2CC6-43E1-40B2-8458-978D3DA7D9D3.jpeg
    730B2CC6-43E1-40B2-8458-978D3DA7D9D3.jpeg
    453.7 KB · Views: 8
  • 4AA05FA3-B72D-4BF1-870F-B90423503E1A.jpeg
    4AA05FA3-B72D-4BF1-870F-B90423503E1A.jpeg
    468.6 KB · Views: 9
  • BD0843F5-9B43-460E-BBA5-2706FDC407C9.jpeg
    BD0843F5-9B43-460E-BBA5-2706FDC407C9.jpeg
    316.4 KB · Views: 9
  • 5497FB18-764B-4BAC-8DB8-AD95C1DBCE44.jpeg
    5497FB18-764B-4BAC-8DB8-AD95C1DBCE44.jpeg
    180.1 KB · Views: 6
  • A3D828A9-F642-404E-A0F1-B37CE8EFDD89.jpeg
    A3D828A9-F642-404E-A0F1-B37CE8EFDD89.jpeg
    286.1 KB · Views: 5
  • F100B5D0-3429-43D9-9DDC-5243CE77C36C.jpeg
    F100B5D0-3429-43D9-9DDC-5243CE77C36C.jpeg
    157.8 KB · Views: 5
  • 76F72371-2517-4993-AC66-6332551BEB54.jpeg
    76F72371-2517-4993-AC66-6332551BEB54.jpeg
    175 KB · Views: 13

Potawatomi13

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,101
Reaction score
3,536
Location
Eugene, OR
USDA Zone
8
You are aware whacking off trunk of young tree is best way to prevent trunk thickening:confused:?
 
Messages
484
Reaction score
681
Location
Southwest US z8
USDA Zone
8a
You are aware whacking off trunk of young tree is best way to prevent trunk thickening:confused:?
Lots of people are also very eager to shove a piece of nursery stock into a small pot despite that slowing down growth significantly

But yes, I prob should’ve waited and watched what happened with it. Also, I found out later that it’s not the right time of yr to chop. Whoops. I read that they shoot easily, so chopped it instead of waiting

However, I wanted to push growth to the buds newly forming toward the top (close up of top pic)

What’s done is done. I won’t be doing any more work to this for now
 

Leo in N E Illinois

The Professor
Messages
10,314
Reaction score
20,441
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
Pines in general have a fairly specific "subset" of bonsai techniques unique from other conifers and deciduous trees. They represent a skill set unto themselves. Japanese Black Pine, JBP for short, Pinus thunbergii is by far the most amendable pine in terms of adapting to bonsai techniques. The Japanese red pine, or Korean red pine, Pinus densiflora comes in a close second.

Pinus parviflora - Japanese white Pine - You are in zone 8a, which is probably too warm for Japanese white pine, JWP. If I were you I would avoid JWP. This is the perfect 5 needle pine for people living far enough north to see snow in winter. Zone 7 is the warmest. Probably zone 4 to zone 7a is the range for this species. Much warmer and you are likely to have trouble.

Scotts pine, Pinus sylvestris, or forest pine in non-english speaking European countries is a good choice, it might be okay with the heat of your zone 8a summers. If you see it offered at your local landscape nurseries, then it will survive as bonsai in your area.

Another good pine is Pinus mugo - this is a single flush pine, many dwarf forms are available in the nursery trade, some grafted, some cutting grown, some seed grown.

Pinus nigra - popular as a collected tree in Europe, needs to be fairly large, over a meter tall to get proportions right. I personally don't like it. But that is my taste.

Pinus strobus - Eastern white pine - Many have tried, all but a few have failed. This species will frustrate most, it will resist being turned into bonsai even in skilled hands. I know of exactly one tree that is an exhibition quality EWP, the rest of the hundreds of attempts I have seen, including the 20 or so I have attempted over the years have turned out to be utter crap. P strobus will end up looking like sparse pompoms on the ends of sticks. Never a tree. Don't waste your time with this species. Other white pines like Pinus flexilis and strobiliformis might work much better, but skip strobus.

When choosing a species of pine for bonsai, one trait to pay attention to is needle length. In general if a species naturally has needles longer than 5 or 6 inches in length, it is not a good candidate for bonsai. Better species will have needles around 4 inches or less. Using a long needle species is not "impossible", but the long needles can pose an added level of difficulty. Ponderosa pine is often used for bonsai as a collected tree. A 100 or more year old trunk of a Ponderosa pine can be wonderful. But seed grown Ponderosa are never used because the long needles are too ungainly to work into any youthful tree design. A 100 year old trunk is spectacular enough it trumps the appearance of long needles, one just ignores the long needles. Seedling ponderosa just don't have enough character to ignore the long needles.

Also when choosing a pine species it helps to know if there are quirks of growth habit, like the tendency of all Pinaster group pines to produce juvenile foliage every time you prune them.

So go wild, there a 100 or so pine species to play with, but JBP and JRP are the 2 with the best track records for bonsai. And EWP has the worst tract record for bonsai. Everything else is somewhere in between.
 
Messages
484
Reaction score
681
Location
Southwest US z8
USDA Zone
8a
Pines in general have a fairly specific "subset" of bonsai techniques unique from other conifers and deciduous trees. They represent a skill set unto themselves. Japanese Black Pine, JBP for short, Pinus thunbergii is by far the most amendable pine in terms of adapting to bonsai techniques. The Japanese red pine, or Korean red pine, Pinus densiflora comes in a close second.

Pinus parviflora - Japanese white Pine - You are in zone 8a, which is probably too warm for Japanese white pine, JWP. If I were you I would avoid JWP. This is the perfect 5 needle pine for people living far enough north to see snow in winter. Zone 7 is the warmest. Probably zone 4 to zone 7a is the range for this species. Much warmer and you are likely to have trouble.

Scotts pine, Pinus sylvestris, or forest pine in non-english speaking European countries is a good choice, it might be okay with the heat of your zone 8a summers. If you see it offered at your local landscape nurseries, then it will survive as bonsai in your area.

Another good pine is Pinus mugo - this is a single flush pine, many dwarf forms are available in the nursery trade, some grafted, some cutting grown, some seed grown.

Pinus nigra - popular as a collected tree in Europe, needs to be fairly large, over a meter tall to get proportions right. I personally don't like it. But that is my taste.

Pinus strobus - Eastern white pine - Many have tried, all but a few have failed. This species will frustrate most, it will resist being turned into bonsai even in skilled hands. I know of exactly one tree that is an exhibition quality EWP, the rest of the hundreds of attempts I have seen, including the 20 or so I have attempted over the years have turned out to be utter crap. P strobus will end up looking like sparse pompoms on the ends of sticks. Never a tree. Don't waste your time with this species. Other white pines like Pinus flexilis and strobiliformis might work much better, but skip strobus.

When choosing a species of pine for bonsai, one trait to pay attention to is needle length. In general if a species naturally has needles longer than 5 or 6 inches in length, it is not a good candidate for bonsai. Better species will have needles around 4 inches or less. Using a long needle species is not "impossible", but the long needles can pose an added level of difficulty. Ponderosa pine is often used for bonsai as a collected tree. A 100 or more year old trunk of a Ponderosa pine can be wonderful. But seed grown Ponderosa are never used because the long needles are too ungainly to work into any youthful tree design. A 100 year old trunk is spectacular enough it trumps the appearance of long needles, one just ignores the long needles. Seedling ponderosa just don't have enough character to ignore the long needles.

Also when choosing a pine species it helps to know if there are quirks of growth habit, like the tendency of all Pinaster group pines to produce juvenile foliage every time you prune them.

So go wild, there a 100 or so pine species to play with, but JBP and JRP are the 2 with the best track records for bonsai. And EWP has the worst tract record for bonsai. Everything else is somewhere in between.
I can find Ponderosa north of us

I know Home Depot has Mugo (I can also get other conifers like Bird Nest Spruce or smaller junipers)

I’m not going to bother with other things that can’t take our heat
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom