The Pitch Pine Experiment

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Metro Boston
USDA Zone
6a
#61
They were started from seed in late August 2013, and spent their first winter indoors under grow lights. So they've had like 2.25 growing seasons so far and will be 3 yrs old in August.

@pitchpine You are doing well with those trees. What is the age of your trees?



I have found this with most of my trees as well.

View attachment 104541 [/QUOTE]
 
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San Antonio, TX
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8
#62
They were started from seed in late August 2013, and spent their first winter indoors under grow lights. So they've had like 2.25 growing seasons so far and will be 3 yrs old in August.

@pitchpine You are doing well with those trees. What is the age of your trees.

Rick


I have found this with most of my trees as well.

View attachment 104541
[/QUOTE]
How are your trees doing
 
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Location
Metro Boston
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6a
#63
How are your trees doing[/QUOTE]

Not well, unfortunately. :( I'm not sure if either of them are going to make it.

I really should have potted both of them up in the early spring. They'd been in small plastic baskets for almost 2 years, which I'd placed inside plastic pots to minimize dessication over the winter. When I went to slip pot them in mid May, I discovered that the roots had grown through the basket sides more than I'd anticipated. So I decided to hedge my bets---I left one alone for this year, and repotted the other into a colander, trying to handle the roots as gently as possible.

Well, neither fared well in the record hot summer we just had. I think I alternated between underwatering and overwatering several times, because I just couldn't get a handle on what they needed. There may be some hope for the one I did repot, as it's got a couple tiny backbuds that seem to still be growing.

Funnily enough, all my other pines - - - JBPs, JRPs, Ponderosas, and even my slightly older pitch pine (which I also repotted into a colander in May) - - - are doing great. These two (and my Tamarack, which gave up the ghost just as I finally was making progress towards a design I was pleased with) not so much....
 
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Location
Eastern Connecticut
USDA Zone
6a
#65
Mine did very well in this Texas heat for a 3 year old seedling. It throwing buds everywhere. Sorry to hear about your pines. I hope they make it. Wonder how Jeanluc's are doing.

Rick
I'm glad to hear yours are doing well. Pitch pines are frequently found on rock outcroppings growing in full sun. Even in the frigid north they can really take a baking.

My trees have done well but they would appreciate more direct sun. I moved July 1st of last year from a yard that would get full sun all day to a yard that gets 6 to 8 hours direct sun. My first batch of seedlings that spent the first 1 1/2 years in full sun showed more growth than the second batch that did not. They are still healthy and growing well but not quite as well as they could.

Well, neither fared well in the record hot summer we just had. I think I alternated between underwatering and overwatering several times, because I just couldn't get a handle on what they needed.
I have been warned about not overwatering pitch pines. This may depend on the individual tree. I have my trees in a mix of pumice and about 10-20% pine bark. I water my trees everyday there is not a drenching rain. I keep mine well watered but not wet.

It also appears that they can take being very dry, at least temporarily. I have had my trees knocked over by squirrels and sit on the ground with almost nothing covering the roots and have them survive.

I think the main thing is to be as consistent as possible.
 
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Location
Metro Boston
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#66
I have been warned about not overwatering pitch pines. This may depend on the individual tree. I have my trees in a mix of pumice and about 10-20% pine bark. I water my trees everyday there is not a drenching rain. I keep mine well watered but not wet.

It also appears that they can take being very dry, at least temporarily. I have had my trees knocked over by squirrels and sit on the ground with almost nothing covering the roots and have them survive.

I think the main thing is to be as consistent as possible.
Thanks, Jean-luc. I'd thought that maybe it was the heat because of my 4 pitch pines, the 3 from Maine (2 from seed, one collected) did poorly this summer, and 2 are dead now. The only one growing like gangbusters is from MA, so I thought maybe they had differing genetic tolerances for heat.

After reading your post though, I think it was too much water that was the problem. The soil for the seedling I repotted was probably too broken down to dry out well. And I definitely planted the repotted seedling too deeply for the mix I put it in---it's only since I removed the top inch or two of soil that it is starting to show signs of recovery. Same for the collected tree from Maine (which I also repotted this spring) , but I caught it too late for it to recover. The collected tree from MA that is doing great was repotted into a coarser mix. So I guess there's my answer. :( Live and learn!

Laura
 
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Eastern Connecticut
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#68
The trees are in that somewhat boring grow out phase. They grew well this season but would have appreciated more direct sun. Next year most of the first batch will get repotted.

tmp_28461-IMG_20161211_120549080_HDR376378798.jpg

tmp_28461-IMG_20161211_120825091-1541125847.jpg
 
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#69
Update

This is the 4th season for my first batch of seedlings. For the most part they have done well.

About half were repotted this spring. I am considering trying summer repotting some of the others.

Repotted trees:

tmp_12303-IMG_20170720_175757881445642994.jpg

tmp_12303-IMG_20170720_180031806-1775339508.jpg

One of the seedling cuttings:

tmp_12303-IMG_20170720_175924647589091236.jpg

tmp_12303-IMG_20170720_175930972989056287.jpg

Some that didn't get repotted:

tmp_12303-IMG_20170720_180201378929360325.jpg

tmp_12303-IMG_20170720_1803147471738176592.jpg
 
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Location
Michigan
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#70
Summer repotting my work well. Have you considered how you are going to go about this process? Have you considered how to balance the process? I am not looking for places to criticize, I am hoping to learn from what you do and I will offer as much help as I can provide if asked for.
 
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#71
Have you considered how to balance the process?
I had not really thought of that yet. In the spring I just trimmed off the roots that had formed a mat at the bottom of the pot and teased out some around the outside. I didn’t worry about trying to balance the growth. I figured the tree was ready to grow and would produce only the foliage that it could support.

I think you are right that I need to take some measures to try and balance the top to the roots. Since I’m trying to bulk these up as quickly as possible I don’t want to significantly set things back any.

My first thought would be to pluck old needles. They would be lost in the fall anyway so removing them early would not set the tree back significantly but would reduce some of the demand on the roots.

My next tough would be to remove some of the growth that I will not use in the future. Most of what is above the first few inches will be sacrifice growth anyway. If I leave the apical growth alone it shouldn’t slow the tree significantly.

I would love to hear what others think.
 
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Location
Augusta Maine
USDA Zone
5
#75
I'd love to see some updates. I have some native pitch near the coast in Central Maine. Nothing I've been able to collect. I've started several Mugo and Scotts from seed and the journey is fun. I wish I'd started some Pitch. But starting over sucks
 
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Location
Eastern Connecticut
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#76
I'd love to see some updates. I have some native pitch near the coast in Central Maine. Nothing I've been able to collect. I've started several Mugo and Scotts from seed and the journey is fun. I wish I'd started some Pitch. But starting over sucks
I'll see if I can get some updated pictures in the next couple of days. For the most part everything is just growing out but progress is being made.

I would recommend getting out and collecting some seeds. Now is the time. It is also worth keeping an eye out for interesting pines growing in shopping centers. A couple of years ago I collected some JWP seeds from a landscape tree. Of the 50+ seeds I collected only 6 sprouted but the seeds cost me nothing. I've found cones on landscape mugos as well but I haven't tried collecting any seeds yet.
 
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