Thoughts on pollen cones?

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There's a school of thought that they are a sign of stress- the plant is in trouble and needs to reproduce before it dies. Any thoughts on this?
 

M. Frary

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The first Jack pine put them out the year I collected it. Someone brought this to my attention. All it did was grow.
I believe if it's growing anything it's a good sign.
Now like I said. I don't deal with JBP.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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There's a school of thought that they are a sign of stress- the plant is in trouble and needs to reproduce before it dies. Any thoughts on this?
That could be right since it's a mechanism found in a lot of plants. But at the same time it can be a sign of good health ("so much leftover energy, let's do some sex").
The stress mechanism is usually limited to just a few branches, the healthy mechanism can usually be found reasonably spreaded throughout the entire tree.
 
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The first Jack pine put them out the year I collected it. Someone brought this to my attention. All it did was grow.
I believe if it's growing anything it's a good sign.
Now like I said. I don't deal with JBP.
This is a JWP, but it's likely the same for all pines. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

just.wing.it

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There's a school of thought that they are a sign of stress- the plant is in trouble and needs to reproduce before it dies. Any thoughts on this?
If it's blooming at a weird time of year...then I'd say yeah maybe it's about to croak.
 

Adair M

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My experience is they will make pollen cones after repotting. I don’t know if it’s a stress reaction, or whether the rapid root growth triggers it. Mine have not been “stressed” to where the tree is anywhere close to expiring. I have heard trees will do that.

This year, only one of my JWP produced pollen cones. And only on one side of the tree. It was repotted this year, into fresh Boon Mix. Prior to that, it had not been repotted in quite a while. Foliage growth all over is strong. Fresh soil is coarse, which promotes rapid root growth, which in turn, promotes strong foliage growth.

Last year, I repotted a Zuisho JWP I had purchased from Julian Adams. Julian uses straight Turface. So, I did a half bare root repot, beginning the transition to Boon Mix. Well, it grew like crazy! And produced tons of pollen cones! This year, I did not repot. (I will do the other half next spring). Growth is much more restrained. It’s growing well, evenly all over, but no pollen cones. I attribute this to the akadama breaking down and making smaller particles. Boon Mix is coarser than Turface when fresh, but changes to be less coarse as the akadama breaks down. At some point, the akadama will break down to point that it needs to be replaced. Repotting into fresh soil will start the root growth cycle over again!
 
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My experience is they will make pollen cones after repotting. I don’t know if it’s a stress reaction, or whether the rapid root growth triggers it. Mine have not been “stressed” to where the tree is anywhere close to expiring. I have heard trees will do that.

This year, only one of my JWP produced pollen cones. And only on one side of the tree. It was repotted this year, into fresh Boon Mix. Prior to that, it had not been repotted in quite a while. Foliage growth all over is strong. Fresh soil is coarse, which promotes rapid root growth, which in turn, promotes strong foliage growth.

Last year, I repotted a Zuisho JWP I had purchased from Julian Adams. Julian uses straight Turface. So, I did a half bare root repot, beginning the transition to Boon Mix. Well, it grew like crazy! And produced tons of pollen cones! This year, I did not repot. (I will do the other half next spring). Growth is much more restrained. It’s growing well, evenly all over, but no pollen cones. I attribute this to the akadama breaking down and making smaller particles. Boon Mix is coarser than Turface when fresh, but changes to be less coarse as the akadama breaks down. At some point, the akadama will break down to point that it needs to be replaced. Repotting into fresh soil will start the root growth cycle over again!
I purchased this one in Nov 2016. Since then, it's still in the original nursery soil. Just very slightly reduced the soil this spring.
20171112_095122.jpg
 

JudyB

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The worst thing about those pollen cones is that they will cause a bare "neck" on the shoot. I always carefully removed them as early as they could be popped off with a slight push back and twist with tweezers. It seemed to help lessen the length of the bare neck issue.
 

Potawatomi13

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There's a school of thought that they are a sign of stress- the plant is in trouble and needs to reproduce before it dies. Any thoughts on this?
More like lack of thought. Producing fruiting cones on obvious sick tree is more likely case. Pollen cones only for fertilizing these and useless/added stress for sick tree without real cones;).
 

zelk

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Makes about as much sense as thinking that a runny nose is a sign that you’re going to die just because that is a symptom of a fatal illness at times. If cone production was so detrimental to health don’t you think pines as one of the most ancient species would have evolved a better strategy for something they do regularly?
 

0soyoung

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There's a school of thought that they are a sign of stress- the plant is in trouble and needs to reproduce before it dies. Any thoughts on this?
More to the point, how does one prevent them from being made?

Not every candle produces strobili. Some years there are more strobilied candles than others. With p. thunbergii, p, densiflora, p. bungeana, and maybe another pine, we can remove the strobilied candles and have them replaced in the same season - I've never seen strobili on 'summer candles' - why is that, I ask.

And, while I am at it, what exactly is 'stress' in trees?
Too much water? Too little water? Too much dust in the air?
 

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