Pinus densiflora (Japanese Red Pine) or Pinus resinosa (Red Pine)

Messages
36
Reaction score
1
Location
Hot Summuh Dallas, TX
Hi. New to the place, and new to bonsai and plant propagation in general.

Would anyone know how to differentiate between the two pines, pinus densiflora and pinus resinosa? Both types of pine have two needles per fascicle, red flakey mature bark, and I think greyish silvery "pre-mature bark".

I have a pine at my disposal, but it's identification tag has been lost. Right now I'm very convinced it's one or the other pines mentioned in the title. It's likely root bound in a 25 gallon pot. has some leggy droopy growth, but it could be from being in the shade. It's been moved into a sunny location and the top part is growing strong and full like a Japanese black pine now. I should add that the growth structure pattern is not like a JBP though. The vigorous top has branches growing off of it not in wheel spoke fashion as the JBP, and the horizontal branches do not grow straight but slightly contorted or slightly bent.

If a picture might help, I'll take a picture of it soon.
 
Last edited:

JudyB

Queen of the Nuts
Messages
12,861
Reaction score
19,677
Location
South East of Cols. OH
USDA Zone
6a
Hi and welcome,
Pictures are really helpful if you want identification of a particular plant.

Just a thought - pines are about the most difficult bonsai to work with. Even for non-beginners.... But especially if you don't know much about plant culture in general, you won't really want to start with pine.

There are lots and lots of wonderful deciduous trees and tropicals, and semi-tropicals that would be better to start with. If your heart is set on an evergreen, I would suggest juniper first before anything else.
 

0soyoung

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
6,805
Reaction score
11,170
Location
Anacortes, WA (AHS heat zone 1)
USDA Zone
8b
The simplest test that I know is to bend a needle - Norway/red pine needles are very brittle.

If you need more, I suggest you begin your research with Wikipedia and Google (or Bing or ...). There are a number of handy field-guides/reference-books available that you also might consider.
 
Messages
36
Reaction score
1
Location
Hot Summuh Dallas, TX
Thanks for the welcome! It'll be this weekend when I'll be able to take a photo of the pine.
Osoyoung, I'll try that test of yours then also. I've actually did some search on Google and Wiki but I still wasn't sure which was which. But the test you proposed is something new to me.

My disclaimer: I say I'm new to bonsai, but I should say that I've been around them from for about 12 years. A few of those years were spent at the beginning of the first decade of my life trying to learn and make what I thought was bonsai. Some of the understanding that I had turned out partially on track. With the Internet now, I'm learning so much more and correcting any misconceptions from before.
 
Last edited:

tanlu

Shohin
Messages
280
Reaction score
7
Location
Washington, DC
USDA Zone
7a
I have to agree and disagree with Judy, because although pines have a very different growth cycle from other species, pines are just about the only thing I (a 3 year novice) can keep alive without having a garage/cold greenhouse or having to be home everyday to check moisture levels. In the northeast a freak cold snap can kill off any new growth on deciduous trees (obviously tropicals), but won't effect any of mine (JBP, JRP, JWP, and Pitch Pine). I'm often out of town for the weekends and pines do fine with a few days of neglect while other trees can potentially die.

I've had one of my non-grafted JWP fall over one summer, spilling soil and exposing some roots in mid summer for over 24 hours. I was seriously worried, but it only responded with slower growth. No loss of branches. This has happened several times to this one JWP, and also to my other pines.

thumblessprimate, (interesting name) I highly recommend reading in-depth articles on pine care as if you were studying for a final exam. Go to bonsai4me.com or evergreengardenworks.com for information on pines. Once you get a grasp on their growth pattern, you'll see they're not only a relatively fuss-free subject for bonsai, but also a potential obsession =)

Theo
 
Messages
36
Reaction score
1
Location
Hot Summuh Dallas, TX
Thanks Theo. I've frequented bonsai4me and evergreen several times. I wish I had before I killed off a mugo pine some time ago, but I got some basic concepts on the growth pattern of certain pines now. If I forget something, I'll return to those goo resources.

Osoyoung, I've tried the little test you proposed. The needles on this pine don't seem to be brittle at all. I thought they were pretty flexible. I've taken some pictures for all. As soon as I figure out how to post them, I'll get them on there.
 
Messages
36
Reaction score
1
Location
Hot Summuh Dallas, TX
IMG_6810.jpgIMG_6814.jpgIMG_6819.jpg
Here's the pine I was seeing if anyone could help me identify. Please excuse how my picture is posted for now. Perhaps I'll learn how to post properly by next time. The first photo is of the lower part of the trunk. The second photo is of the upper part of the trunk. The third photo is just to show you the needles and length of needles. They're pretty long.

I was pretty convinced that they are some type of red pine, but now I'm not so sure. I've read that resinosa needles are 4-6 inches and densiflora needles are about 3-4 inches. Seems like I got something absolutely different in my hands.
 

tanlu

Shohin
Messages
280
Reaction score
7
Location
Washington, DC
USDA Zone
7a
Mugo pines have a slightly different growth cycle that are well illustrated on bonsai4me.com.

Scots pine's needles are MUCH shorter. I'm not sure if it's a JRP, but it doesn't seem too far off.
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
11,224
Reaction score
21,574
Location
North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
So, I've studied the pics for a few minutes and I honestly have no idea what pine species you've got there. A few thoughts....P. densiflora and P. resinosa are very cold hardy, so I'm not sure you would find many available and thriving in Hot Summah, TX. My densiflora has proven to deal well with N. GA heat but I would assume it's probably hotter where you are at and stays that way longer. A picture of the entire tree would help, as would a picture of the end of a branch, including the bud.
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
Messages
13,748
Reaction score
16,162
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
It is almost certainly Densiflora just by rulling out the other choices for reasons already pointed out.
 
Messages
36
Reaction score
1
Location
Hot Summuh Dallas, TX
It seems that pinus densiflora is the popular guess at this time, but here's more pictures.
I tried to capture much before batteries ran out.
IMG_6973.jpgIMG_6974.jpgIMG_6975.jpgIMG_6977.jpg
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
12,108
Reaction score
34,158
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
It could be several pines, but based on this recent round of photos, P. Densiflora (Japanese Red Pine) still seems to be the best fit, due to the 2 needle arrangement, and the reddish, scaly buds. For comparison, here are a few shots of a 4-year old seedling P. Densiflora from my growing bed (it's needles are a tad darker in color than my other 3 JRP). Hopefully they help in your quest to ID yours.

BTW, red pines in Japan are so common, many artists didn't want them in their collection, which is what, ironically, makes them relatively rare in bonsai. They hold up very well to intense heat, and have very high cold tolerance. If I still lived up north, this would be the pine most frequently on my benches.

JRP1.jpgJRP2.jpgJRP3 New Branch.jpgJRP Shoot.jpg
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom