P. densiflora in the Midwest


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Does anyone who lives or used to live in the Midwest in zone 5 or colder have any experience attempting to field grow Japanese red pine? From just looking at hardiness zones and general information it seems they should do well here. Two problems that I know would be a factor are pine wilt and their purportedly weak roots.

Pine wilt doesn't really have a solution other than to not let the tree stay in the ground for too long. According to an Iowa State study http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/SUL9.pdf pine wilt in Scots pines normally doesn't occur until trees are at least ten years old. Hopefully the red pine lasts that long also until it becomes succeptible.

As to their weak roots I don't think there's much to be done about that other than give it a shot and see what happens. Buying them grafted onto J. black pine isn't really an option as the whole thought process behind using the densiflora is growing something that should be hardy in this area and Japanese black pine is only marginally hardy in zone 5.

I doubt I have the knowledge necessary to grow good field stock for bonsai but it would be interesting regardless from a learning perspective.
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