Urban Pine (Stone Pine?) or What the Hell was I thinking?

hemmy

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I'm looking for some advice on pruning back a collected urban pine to balance the top with the remaining roots (and make it not so top heavy).

A friend had a "6-inch" diameter pine in a container growing on a concrete slab that they had to get rid of, so I offered to take it. The diameter is in quotes because what I found was actually a 10" diameter trunk that was about 12' tall. The roots had escaped the pot and found the ground about 4' away in a gap in the slab.

Unfortunately, the tree had already been disturbed when I arrived and most of the feeder roots outside the container (growing under a tangle of succulents) had been removed.

The main escaped root was about 6"D and pushed up a giant stone block that it was growing under on its way to the ground!

It doesn't have much bonsai potential. But since I was already there, I couldn't back out and had to take it home.
 

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hemmy

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I was told by a horticulturist friend that it is an Italian Stone Pine, which appears likely from image comparisons. It has 2 needles per fasicles that are 4-5" long and some single needle juvenile growth. It was bought way-back-when as a small container Christmas tree here in SoCal.
 

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hemmy

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It was too late tonight, but I plan on building a box for it tomorrow and pot it up with a mostly pumice mix. I don't want to disturb any fine roots in the container, but I believe I need to remove the container sides and gently comb some of the roots out into the new mix.

1. Does anyone have an alternate ID besides Pinus pinea?

2.
Would you reduce the top and if so, how drastic? (I'm in SoCal, where this thing should grow year round) I was also told to let it dieback naturally. But it's pretty top heavy and an actual safety issue right now!

I'm thinking of chopping on the red or blue line. I'm guessing that given the lack of root mass, this thing has a 10% chance of survival.

Any other advice is appreciated (unless it is, stop taking trees sight unseen. I got that now!)

Thanks
 

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Nwaite

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No advice from me ..... but good luck.
 

petegreg

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ID - is there any juvenile foliage? No pics. From the pics provided I can see only new foliage, not juvenile.

As for the size reduction, I would follow the yellow lines, jin the portion of the right subtrunk. But slowly, not to remove more than 30-50% of foliage in one season. Looks like a big piece of tree, lot of fun.
downloadfile.jpg
 

sorce

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Crazy strikes again!

I got a good feeling about it surviving.

Sorce
 

petegreg

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It really looks like one of those Mediterranean pines, hard to say which one. The juvenile needles of my P. pinea are more blueish...
 

Starfox

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Halepensis maybe?
I agree the young growth is not blue enough, plus it looks a touch weepy for Pinea.

The neighbour just had two large Pinea trees removed yesterday so my immediate reference has gone.
 

RickMartin

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Looks like my aleppo pine. They are alot of fun. I wouldnt make that big of a chop in one season. Be patient..you can get it down there and if its a aleppo it will back bud like crazy.

Rick
 

Saizan

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Seems more a P. pinea than a P. halepensis. Stone pine has red bark, hard needles of deep green and more erected grown, and aleppo pine has more white bark, flexible and thin needles of more light green, growing more like a bush.

In the above paragraph I'm always talking of nature specimens in the mediterranean coast (so if is another species my diagnosis is wrong). If I have some time I'll manage to take some pictures to ilustrate, but IMO, no doubts about P. pinea.
 
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hemmy

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Thanks for the replies and info. I don't have high hopes for the tree as a bonsai, but it will be fun to see if it survives. I had to build the box around it and the damn thing held almost 8 cu. ft of mix.
image.jpeg
 

hemmy

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Part of me is slightly relieved that this guy didn't survive. Has I been there to save the feeder roots it would have at least had a fighting chance.

So, cut a tree, plant a tree! Lol

IMG_2450.JPG
 

iant

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Yes you're better off! The mature stone pines that I see growing 40+ feet high with 5 foot trunks only barely look in proportion to needle length! Even from a distance you can still see the long needles.
Good luck with the new project!
Ian
 

Rusty Davis

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What is the plant with spikes on it in the Sept 12 pic?
 

hemmy

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Floss Silk Tree (Ceiba speciosa), it was my wife's balcony tree. They are large landscape trees around here that get large pink or white flowers.

IMG_4497.JPG
 

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