Pinus parviflora "zuisho"


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Woodstown, NJ
I went to a lecture today over Pinus sylvestris presented by Mr. Julian Adams. It was very well done in my opinion and he also brought one of his pines that has been named "Top 100 Bonsai of the World" twice. I thought it was a very attractive tree. I found myself really excited about all the things he had to say about this type of pine. They seem to be a decent rival to Pinus thunbergii which I am particuarly fond of. However, while both make great bonsai Pinus sylvestris has been named an invasive species in my area. Good for me and my collection endeavors, right?

Mr. Adams also brought some rooted cuttings that were taken from Pinus parviflora "zuisho." I did indeed say rooted cuttings. Now I have been wanting to try my hand with some Pinus parviflora for some time now and since my move from Texas to South Jersey I thought why not now. Mr. Adams was pretty busy with the lecture and the multitude of questions that followed, but he was able to tell me a little about this cultivar. What I was wondering is are any of you currently growing this cultivar or could you tell me anything else you know about it?

I was able to glean that it has been in circulation for roughly 60 years. It readily reproduces from cuttings. It responds to bonsai much better than any of the other Pinus parviflora and that it takes approach grafts very easily.

Thank you ahead of time for any applicable information you may have.
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Bonsai Outlaw,

I also have a Zuisho that came as a cutting from Julian Adams. It was purchased for me by a bonsai friend who went to Julian's nursery last year. I have had it for about a year and a half. I placed it in a pond basket this spring.

It has grown well enough for me, although I am not thrilled with the amount of growth and trunk thickening I have received to date. My friend purchased an airlayered Zuisho for himself. He expected and has received much more vigorous growth with his airlayered plant than I received with mine. Interestingly, the airlayer, while a couple of years younger, was larger, with more and more vigorous in-season growth, when he brought the two of them back from Virginia. Julian had explained to him that this vigor difference was the rule. So, you may want to consider airlayering some additional trees off the original, rather than cuttings.

I certainly do not have enough experience with this tree to offer any advise other than enjoy.

Zuisho is a very interesting cultivar of Pinus Parviflora. It is the only Pine I know of that roots easily as a cutting. There are a couple of things about the tree that make it peculiar. It takes ten years for the tree to reach a stage where it really starts to take off. So if you have young ones that do not seem to be doing much you just have to wait. This information has been gleaned from many articles about this tree in International Bonsai from the late 80's and early 90's. I do not personally have one--yet, but I do posses almost everything written about it.
Mr. Sweeney,

Thank you for replying. I was infomend by another member of the club that it may take up to five years for a cutting of this cultivar to "bounce back" for a lack of better words. From my own reseach it seems like Pinus P. is not one of the fastest growers. Mr. Adams only sells one year old cuttings to the best of my knowledge so perhaps in the next year or two you will begin to see some better growth. I certainly hope so. Feel free to show any pictures if you have if you have the time or inclinaton to do so, as I, and I am sure others would love to see them. We all love pictures.

As I am new to this specise I will see how I do with it and if I do well I will most assuradly take your advice and purchase a more developed tree.
Mr. Wood,

Thank you for taking the time to post. I was told five years and, LOL, I do hope that this individual was more accurate than your ten year comment.

I am aware that Bill's mag had roughly 25 articles devoted to this cultivar. I am a new subscriber to the magazine and hope to get these back issues. Is there any way that you could refer me and others to the specific issues that are applicable? I would love to obtain the whole collection at sometime and see this as a good starting point.

Any other information that you could provide would be greatly appreciated in the meantime.
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I'll try to do some digging through my pile of stuff and see if I can find the information, but I think the ten year time line is true although I hope the five is. I am almost sure it goes back to a period during the Reagan administration. It seems I started pulling together all of the articles about the time of the Clearance Thomas conformation hearings.
Vance, you are indeed correct. The articles in International Bonsai (I have them all) indicate that growth for the first 8-9 years is so small as to seem hopeless. Then one day they take off and thicken more in the next three years than they have in all the time until then. They also begin back budding and filling in even though they had been spindly until then.

The first article was in International Bonsai 1986/ No.1 and continued for several years.

Vance said "It takes ten years for the tree to reach a stage where it really starts to take off." I looked at the tag on my cutting grown Zuisho this afternoon, and it says 2002.

So, I guess 3-5 years isn't too long to wait!


The tree is approximately 15" tall. It has probably grown 4" this year, as well as last year.
I will attempt to measure, photograph and post after work today.

Here is a picture of mine taken this morning with my cell phone. It is in a four inch pot. I paid 25 bucks for it. I thought that was a little steep, but have been assured that this is not too bad considering the scarcity of the material. I generally do not care to purchase such underdeveloped stock and only did so for two reasons, one I have heard that Pinus parviflora can be tricky and two I have little experience with Pinus.

I would like to start working with Pinus more in the near future and when I feel comforatable with them I think I will invest in more developed stock. In the meantime however I will enjoy this little tiny tree and learn more about it.


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The question is, is this a rooted cutting or a graft? If a rooted cutting, I think you got a huge bargain.
No problem dude, looks like you will have some time to work with it. When it starts filling in a lot, learn the cutting technique and propagate it. Make many babies.
To give you a little visual frame of reference. The zuisho below has been field grown for 7 years. So it isn't to long to wait:) The little guy in the background is a cutting from this parent tree and will be celebrating its 2nd birthday next June


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To give you a little visual frame of reference. The zuisho below has been field grown for 7 years. So it isn't to long to wait:) The little guy in the background is a cutting from this parent tree and will be celebrating its 2nd birthday next June

So, Tom, is this beauty for sale or for your back yard???:D
Tom, is this beauty for sale or for your back yard
It would get lost in the back forty Chris. I was planning on developing this a while longer ....but hey we can talk :)
That's awesome Tom. Thank you for posting.

How thick and how long was the cutting when you took it?

Tom, could you please describe how you rooted the cutting? It seems you only have the one cutting. Did you only try the one or did the others not make it?
Hi Jase, Last year I took 18 cuttings all at the end of the first years growth so the size varied slightly on each. I take the cuttings late fall and and stick them in the greenhouse and let them do there thing. By spring there ready to move outside. I immediately cut out the bottom of the pot and put them in the ground (pot and all) which seems to help immensely. For the first winter prep I hoop them as they are so young and fragile. Out of the 18, I had 10 survive. I have found that best advise that I follow for rooting pines comes from Brent and Graydon. I have only been propagating pines for 4 years to build inventory. I am hoping that my morality rate will improve with time.
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