Scots pine and pine wilt

sfhellwig

Mame
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I am hoping there are a few in the midwest that might be able to suggest one way or the other. I have been reading a Peter Adams book that outlines treatment for Scots pine. It looks pretty straight forward and anytime you have treatment guidelines on a specific plant, all the better. However we have pine wilt here and I'm not sure if it's worth trying this tree or not. Pine wilt is caused by a nematode, one of the few that's not in the soil. The nematodes reproduce and clog the water passages of the tree. It is vectored by the Sawyer bark beetle. In my Master Gardening course they say that nearly all of the Austrian pine in this area are gone and that you shouldn't plant Scots pine as it is the next choice of the beetle. My issue is: aren't bonsai typically less susceptible because of the environment/care they receive? The beetles are attracted to stressed trees that are in the open. Not saying my tree wouldn't be stressed from time to time and they would be as open as other pines but is it the same concern? The garden centers still sell these trees because uneducated people don't know and keep buying them but would this be a viable tree for me or a waste of time?
 

greerhw

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I am hoping there are a few in the midwest that might be able to suggest one way or the other. I have been reading a Peter Adams book that outlines treatment for Scots pine. It looks pretty straight forward and anytime you have treatment guidelines on a specific plant, all the better. However we have pine wilt here and I'm not sure if it's worth trying this tree or not. Pine wilt is caused by a nematode, one of the few that's not in the soil. The nematodes reproduce and clog the water passages of the tree. It is vectored by the Sawyer bark beetle. In my Master Gardening course they say that nearly all of the Austrian pine in this area are gone and that you shouldn't plant Scots pine as it is the next choice of the beetle. My issue is: aren't bonsai typically less susceptible because of the environment/care they receive? The beetles are attracted to stressed trees that are in the open. Not saying my tree wouldn't be stressed from time to time and they would be as open as other pines but is it the same concern? The garden centers still sell these trees because uneducated people don't know and keep buying them but would this be a viable tree for me or a waste of time?

I would think, giver a choice the beetles would much prefer a large tree, not a bonsai, too small. I have been keeping JBP for 10 years and have never experenced any problems here in Oklahoma.


keep it green,
Harry
 

rockm

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This sounds a lot like Dutch Elm Disease (DED) and bonsai American Elm.

Some people are concerned that if they bonsai an American Elm, it will become infested with DED. Doesn't happen. American elm is an excellent bonsai choice and is vastly underused.

The reason is that DED is transmitted much like you say this disease is--through a beetle. Thing is the beetle that carries the disease lands on mature elms which tend to be 100 feet high and pretty massive. They tend to fly dozens of feet above the ground and don't really come down to the ground.

The implications are that a 4 or even 5 foot tall American Elm bonsai isn't really a good place for them to land. Too small, not enough trunk to lay eggs or chew on for any length of time.

Although this article shows rather immature pines being attacked, I still have a very hard time seeing this as a problem for a bonsai. Might happen, but probably won't

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_pinewilt/pinewilt.htm
 

sfhellwig

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Good looking article, I will read through that when I have a chance. And the case of DED not really affecting bonsai is the confirmation I was looking for. I understand that it could still happen but is far less likely than planting several Scots pine out in the field.

Uh oh, something to actually look for at the nursery next year. It's starting already.:rolleyes:
 

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