Pinus densiflora 'low grow'

Kevster

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This is the time of year when nurseries are having big sales which only get bigger as time closes on the end of their season.

During my weekly Saturday morning stroll through ones stock drinking my coffee I come across a handful of these pines. I took pictures with my phone but sadly I didn't check them till this afternoon and with the morning sun the pictures did not turn out well.

What I can say is they all have 3 inch plus trunks which grow in the same manor a nursery P. nana juniper would. I have no idea what the nebari is like as the roots are so compact it will take years to get them situated.

I didn't see a whole lot of results here when I did a search and what I did see were thin trunk informal uprights.
What do you think about these trees (Pinus densiflora 'low grow')? I will stop and get better pictures of them tomorrow.
Oh and they are on sale for $25.00
The picture I took are terrible!!
image.jpg
image.jpg
Thanks!
Kevin
 

Brian Van Fleet

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If you can can find one with a good graft, and with growth close to the trunk, go for it.
Otherwise, it's going to be an uphill climb, with grafting.
 

Kevster

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Brian I didn't see a graft scar. Though I didn't look real hard but they normally pop out like a sore thumb for me. I will have to take a closer look hopefully tomorrow. If its grafted I won't even bother. If not I'll get some better pictures.
 

garywood

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Kev, if it's Low Grow, it's grafted. The thing to look for is the stock whether it's a good graft or not. Most of the commercial growers use Scots pine for stock and the difference in bark "can" be a distraction.
 
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Kevster

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Thanks Gary, I will just move on then. Don't want those headaches.
 
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I have run across several trees like those in the last few years, every time I have found that the graft has been buried in the dirt. You may need to go down 4" or so to find it. That doesn't mean the graft is low on the trunk, it means the trunk is buried in the dirt. And in addtion I have found that the stock is being hidden because it is about an inch smaller in diameter.

Example attached, this one had a ball of burlap around it tied off tightly above the graft and covered with dirt. I didn't find it until the following spring when I started looking for the nebari.
 

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0soyoung

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I would buy one and maybe two. If they have or develop a graft problem like Mac shows, I would put a wire stricture on the trunk just above it. I have done this on JBP and it causes dramatic basal flare as well as eventually (a few years) making new roots. I would expect similar outcomes with a JRP. I have no idea how JRP does on its own roots in your climate, but what do you expect for $25?
 

Kevster

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Wow Mac!! That is not expected since the root side of the graft normally outgrows the top side. What are your plans?

I stopped to look at them again today and I do not see any point where they would have grafted it so if there is one it must be under the soil. And because the roots are so compacted there is not a snowballs chance in hell I could feel for it and I won't know for sure till I do a repot.

Osoyoung does have a good idea. Though I have never used a tourniquet on a pine it should work correct? My only question is if I did do this what would be the best method to do so? A 3"-4" trunk would grow right over the thickest wire wouldn't it?
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I would buy one and maybe two. If they have or develop a graft problem like Mac shows, I would put a wire stricture on the trunk just above it. I have done this on JBP and it causes dramatic basal flare as well as eventually (a few years) making new roots. I would expect similar outcomes with a JRP. I have no idea how JRP does on its own roots in your climate, but what do you expect for $25?

I'd be interested to see some photos of the process and results described here.
 

0soyoung

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I'd be interested to see some photos of the process and results described here.

Sorry, but I cannot deliver any kind of photo progression. I started my first layer in 2010 on a P. Thunbergii 'Thunderhead' following Harry Harrington's advice. I only made a single wrap of wire and twisted it snug. The little wedges I cut above the tourniquet just healed shut in the first year, but I did get flaring just above the tourniquet. In 2011 I got the beginnings of roots, but I left it on the tree. In the spring of this year I removed the plastic bag of sphagnum and replaced it with a pot 'wrapped around the stem' full of Turface ProLeague Red. Root growth is asymetric, so I will have some work to do next spring to induce roots on the other half of the perimeter. Right now, the basal flare is about 2 inches.

This layer is on a about 3/4ths inch vertical trunk near the apex that was at least 2 year-old wood when I started. I started another layer in 2011 of a horizontal branch on a P. Tunbergii niwaki in my landscape. This low (about 1 ft above the ground) horizontal stem was also about 3/4th inch, but is wood that was at least 4 years old when I started.

My method on this one was to only apply the same single wrap wire tourniquet, but I did nothing else - no cutting, drilling, nor was it covered in any way - just a branch stem with a piece of wire around it. It swelled above the stricture in 2011, but I did not make any note of its dimension. This 2012 season I dusted the base of the flare with Hormex and enclosed it in the conventional plastic bag of damp sphagnum (I haven't come up with a viable way to affect 'a pot of turface' on a horizontal branch). I have roots emerging today from a flare that is roughly 1 3/4 inch as shown in the attached photo. I'm pretty sure that this layer will be harvestable next (2013) season.

BlackInLand_anno.jpg

George Mirakana has tried some similar stuff but on last year's candles, and has gotten similar results. George gets similar results in one season, but with a bit less flare, by using girdling. You'll also notice on his blog that he started a girdle air-layer on a JRP though I haven't seen any report on its success/failure. He'll almost certainly respond to an email.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Ahhhhhh....you are suggesting layering the red pine off the grated roots. Reading the earlier post, I thought the suggestion was to use wire on the under stock and getting it to swell enough to catch up with the red pine top. Thanks for clarifying.

George has good stock, I've bought from him and helped several others work on material they've purchased from him. Good to see you're getting some black pines to root as well.
 

0soyoung

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Ahhhhhh....you are suggesting layering the red pine off the grated roots. Reading the earlier post, I thought the suggestion was to use wire on the under stock and getting it to swell enough to catch up with the red pine top. Thanks for clarifying.

I guess '... JRP on its own roots ...' was vague. Sorry that I implied something other than layering with a tourniquet. Obfuscation wasn't my goal.

Nevertheless, I'm thinking about playing with ethylene treatments next year. It might be a way to get the root stock to catch up with the 'low grow' red pine. As you know, ethylene is what induces reaction wood, though we usually rely on the natural processes associated with field growing to thicken trunks. I didn't have this specific issue in mind before now. Thanks.
 

jkd2572

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For that price buy two and try both methods. If you kill both O well. If you succeed with one of them greatness
 

JudyB

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Nevertheless, I'm thinking about playing with ethylene treatments next year. It might be a way to get the root stock to catch up with the 'low grow' red pine. As you know, ethylene is what induces reaction wood, though we usually rely on the natural processes associated with field growing to thicken trunks. I didn't have this specific issue in mind before now. Thanks.

Can you explain what you plan on doing? This sounds interesting...
Thanks.
 

0soyoung

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Can you explain what you plan on doing? This sounds interesting...

Flower and fruit growers use sprays of compounds that release/evolve ethylene to get their product to market (when the time is ripe, so to speak). One that is available in small quantities that a small-time hobyist like me might buy is 'Florel'. So, I'm thinking to simply paint it on a trunk where I want it (or wrap the trunk in something spongy full of it) to thicken the trunk. This area will probably need to be well wrapped in plastic to retain the evolving ethylene. Another reason to keep it contained is that ethylene induces leaf/needle drop.

I have a lot of Ace Palmatum stumps that I've generated through several years of air-layering. I also have the nursery-stock JBP 'Thunderhead' that has a spindly trunk and high graft that are good guinea pigs. Lastly, I have a nursery-lemon Ponderosa. Ponderosa are infamously difficult to get the branches to set after wiring - take the wire off and the branch keeps returning to its orginal position. Setting branches depends on development of reaction wood, so I am also thinking of wiring a pondy branch and painting Florel on it, comparing the result against an unpainted branch. I'm shopping for more junk in local end-of-the-season sales to experiment with (I haven't found any $25 'miracles' like Kevster found, however).

About all I can hope to accomplish in the next season is a plausibility demonstration. That is, show that this is luncy or that there are prospects of a real technique to correct 'inverse taper', and/or produce taper that is nearly impossible to achieve otherwise, and/or set pine branches in one season. Nevertheless I will have some fun with it. I don't get a sense that there are other Nuts that are nutty along these lines, but it would be easy enough to start a thread on the topic to pool our collective thinking, experment methods, and results.
 

JudyB

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Wow, that is out of the box for sure. You'll have to start a thread with progressions for this process, I'll be watching for it. Is there any potential downside to the procedure other than escaping gasses defoliating the subject?
 
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