Where to buy pine seedlings?

Bonsai Nut

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Any suggestions for decent places to buy pine seedlings? I'm looking for Pinus thunbergerii and Pinus parviflora - and if they have varieties all the better. One year or less - just bare root seedlings in damp newspaper.
 

Tachigi

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Greg, Brent gave the name of a place in one of his posts. If I remember right, he highly recommended them.
 

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They look like a good source for standard black pine - and I will probably order some from them. I was curious if there were any cultivar sources out there. Likewise whether anyone bothers with seedlings for Japanese white pine - all I have seen are grafts.
 
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My advice as always is to look around, do your homework, and try to find local nurseries that sell seedlings. As you can see by the truck load of Japanese Black pines below, purchased for just a couple bucks each, doing your homework pays off.

Vance Wood and myself purchased 53 of these and 53 Scots Pines, all three year old seedlings at a local nursery for far less than a "bonsai" grower would have sold them for.

My mother told me, you better shop around... ;)


Will Heath
 

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Bonsai Nut

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My advice as always is to look around, do your homework, and try to find local nurseries that sell seedlings.
I agree :) I am always slumming at my local garden center. Sometimes I find deals in the strangest places. I just picked up 7 decent 1 gallon JBP for $5 each from a Lowes, if you can believe it. Low branches, lots of back buds - they are nice trees. In the Spring I'll check the roots and repot and be on my way with them. I called another Lowes and asked if they had more in stock. The Garden center guy was really funny:

"1 gallon Japanese Black Pines? No way - we never get them. Lowes doesn't stock them"

I then proceeded to share with him the UPC code as well as the Lowes product number on the Lowes care tag that was stuck to every pot :) He said he'd get back to me :) Not!

I'll call the other Lowes where I bought the first batch and ask if they can get more in.

At any rate - back to the subject - if anyone comes across seedlings give me a holler. I'm looking for small ones; one year old bare root.
 

Nigel Black

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BN (Greg?)

I can suggest two things.

1) Vans Pines Nursery. I worked for a nursery where we ordered pines and other conifers from VPN
to use as grafting stock and for 'growing on'. Their prices are great, the product excellent. They sell
one, three and five year old seedlings in addition to more mature plants. You will have to order a sizeable quantity but in my opinion it is worth it in the long run. You can't really expect varieties as these typically come from sports, witches brooms and the like and are propagated by grafted. Pine seedlings are more often than not the secies only. Your local forestry service might yield some results as well. I ordered five-hundred short leaf pine (P. echinata) and Eastern white pine (P. strobus) for a mere twenty-five dollars each. Cheap and worked out well as having that many seedlings left me with some of each after the squirrels destroyed a large number of both species.

2) Order seeds from J. L. Hudson, F.W. Schumacher or Sheffields (they are the most expensive of the three, and for no reason that I can discern). I have been raising pines from seed for a few years now and find it very rewarding and hyper-economical. Highly recommended.

Nigel
 
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Vance Wood

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They look like a good source for standard black pine - and I will probably order some from them. I was curious if there were any cultivar sources out there. Likewise whether anyone bothers with seedlings for Japanese white pine - all I have seen are grafts.
Standard trees or the species is not to difficult to find. However the cultivars you seek are another problem. Most of them have to be grafted in-order to reproduce true to form, seedlings are impossible with cultivars because they will not seed true except back to species. A cultivar with thick bark, real short needles, needles with a distinct color variation etc, are all anomalies that occur from a seedling having a genetic hic-up, a witches broom or some other unduplicatable variable. Because of this unless they can be cultivated from cuttings, and most cannot, the only other option is to graft the top portion, the scion, on to the base of the species tree, or in some cases another species Pine as a stock plant.
 

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seedlings are impossible with cultivars because they will not seed true except back to species.
I will freely admit that I don't know anything about genetics. However I had thought that with seeds from a rare cultivar some of the seedlings will remain true to the cultivar, while some will not (?) For example, seeds from rare Japanese Maple cultivars are frequently sold with the admonition that many of the trees resulting will not be true to the cultivar (but some will). Is this correct? Should my expectations be different for pines? I have no experience trying to grow any pines other than standard Pinus thunbergerii.
 

Nigel Black

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Greg,

What's happening with the maple seedlings is that they are staying true to the species.
A cultivar or variety (which ever you prefer, there's a long standing debate about this semantic nightmare that I won't touch) is a variation from the species. It can be a seedling, or a mutation.
Mutations can be a sport (a spontaneous mutation) a witches broom (a frequent occurence among pines) or a few other possible genetic flukes. Pine seedlings will show dramatic variation from time to time. If you're inerested I suggest a book called "Botany for Gardeners" to get the skinny on this phenomena. It's not as complicated as it seems.

Hope this helps.

Nigel
 

wahoo172

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Brent's sources

I had the great pleasure to meet Brent today, while at a JBP workshop given by Steve Pilacik at Jason Schley's bonsai nursery in Daytona. We even talked about seedling JBP, he lists several sources for seedlings on his web page. I just tried to find the information, (I was unsucessful but I just briefly looked) he lists his favorite sources. He gets his seedlings from Brook's tree farm in Oregon.
We get ours from a nursery in North Florida. I doubt you will be able to buy seedlings in bulk this time of year, the place we get ours from bare roots them in November, we order them in June.

George
 

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