I read a post on FB today about a small pine seedling …
I will not retell what was discussed, but the essence of the post is this: novice gardeners know very little about the features of growing pines and about pines in general.
I don’t consider myself a great expert in breeding, however, pine is my favorite tree, so I can share some growing skills.
Pine is the most common woody perennial on the planet, if we take into account its habitat. And in terms of the number of individuals, it gives way only to larch.
Each year of pine growth gives an increase in the form of a whorl (a bunch of branches located in a ring around the trunk).
Pine leaves (needles) also grow in bunches and live for several years. Depending on the species, the number of needles in the bundle can be two, three or five. In quality, they can be short or long, prickly or soft. and even slightly curly…
Pine is one of the most unpretentious trees and is not very demanding on the composition of the soil. If you plant it in sandy soil, it will take long roots in depth, if in denser clay soil, it will take root in it, although the roots will be superficial, dense “brushes” going to a shallow depth.
Pine loves the sun very much and is demanding on humidity. In a dense forest, she will rush up with long arrows. In a field in the open it will grow more squat with an umbrella crown. In mountainous regions, its growth is small, and the crown can spread over the stones with a carpet.
IT IS INTERESTING
Well-known pine nuts are actually … pine nuts. They ripen in cones of cedar pine, and the fruits of real cedars are unsuitable for food.
In terms of energy, pine carries a positive charge and energizes the environment.
In addition, it releases phytoncides that disinfect the air.
In this matter, it is difficult for her to compete with junipers, but what other coniferous tree can boast of rapid growth and a wide spreading crown that gives a life-giving shadow!
FORMATION OF THE PINE or WHAT IS PINE SO GOOD
Of course, everyone likes pine trees with an unusual crown or long soft needles. But I am fascinated by the charm of a pine forest. There are no exotics in it, but it is beautiful and cozy. It is so pleasant to wander among the thickets of ferns and blackberries under the cool canopy of pine paws. What about smells…
By the way, in the cozy shade of adult pines, you can safely grow exotic ferns, darmer, astilboides, hosts, geyhers, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and many other shade-loving perennials. Especially if they like acidified soil. So the most ordinary pine can become the basis of an unusually beautiful garden.
Pines can be safely planted in the courtyard of the house, but at a respectful distance from the buildings.
Many, speaking of pines, draw an analogy with spruce and expect a beautiful pyramidal shape from it. But the pine grows faster than spruce, because its «pyramid» is very strongly elongated upwards and looks sparse. For this, they do not like Scotch pine, preferring pines with a «pedigree».
But this is a tree that can be safely formed and, with proper care, the simplest pine tree can look more luxurious than horses or be presented in nivaki (garden bonsai).
To restrain growth and fluff the pine tree, it is enough to pinch young growth candles. The best time for the procedure is May. But you should focus not on the calendar, but on the state of growth: the beige candles have just begun to stretch out — pinch off the tops, leaving just a little bit, literally one third.
I studied this case here according to this instruction))), I share:
With the help of pinching out of pine, you can form absolutely any shape, even a cube))), but for this you need to “fill your hand” and have experience.
But I love natural outlines, but I can’t stand it at all when, due to lush forms, the yard and garden become “opaque” and visually cramped. Therefore, for all my trees, as they grow, I remove side branches growing below 2 meters.
It looks something like this:
So in the courtyard there will be a shadow and a feeling of spaciousness will be preserved.
WHY VARIETY PINES CANNOT BE GROWN FROM SEEDS
Pine seeds do not retain varietal characteristics, so seedlings from them will turn out to be species. However, this “minus” is also a “plus”, because any pine is a beautiful and extremely useful tree for any site.
You can get a pine seedling of a certain variety only by grafting a branch from a cultivated plant to the trunk of a «savage». But this topic is subtle and professional. And since I am not a breeder, I will not delve further.
I will only note that when growing pine from seeds, the soil must be treated with fungicides, because almost all seeds hatch, but tender seedlings can be damaged by blackleg spores, which leads to death.
For seedlings, it is necessary to equip a mini-greenhouse, where it will always be slightly humid and calm. Everything is like in nature: many young pines grow under the moist canopy of the forest, and only those who were lucky enough to grow somewhere in a hollow or even a puddle survive in the field.
If you decide to grow pines from seeds, be aware that they will need stratification.
In February, soak cotton pads, put seeds between them, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a month. However, already in the second week, the bookmark should be checked, those seeds that woke up can be planted in a container with disinfected soil under the film.
Seedlings are planted in open ground in the second or third year of life, when the first whorl of twigs has already formed.
FEATURES OF PINE TRANSFER
Pine is one of those trees that really dislike transplanting. Some sources claim that it even needs to be marked on the side that grew towards the sun, in order to land later with exactly the same orientation.
I don’t “bother” on this: I plant it the way it turns out, but it’s still necessary to follow some rules.
Rule 1: for transplanting with an open root system, seedlings up to 50 cm high are suitable. And the point is not so much in growth as in the size of the root. In these parameters, it is not yet so large and the pine can be removed from the soil without damaging the central root.
Taller and even mature pines need special care after transplantation.
Rule 2: Pine roots can do without soil for no more than 15 minutes, after which they dry out and die. If you need to transport a seedling over a long distance, dig it out with a clod of earth, place it in a canvas bag and moisten generously with water.
IMPORTANT: for these two reasons above, never buy pine seedlings with ACS (although you are unlikely to find such an offer) — grow yourself or buy in containers.
The most favorable period for transplanting pine trees is early spring (if you can monitor the state of soil moisture all summer) or autumn (when nature itself provides moisture). But even with an autumn transplant, you will have to monitor the maintenance of moisture until the seedling begins to give the first full (more than 10 cm) growth.
Pine loves the sunKeep this in mind when choosing a place for her.
In a very dry summer, I carry out deep root watering and sprinkling as soon as I see that the needles are burning, but this is more a measure to maintain decorativeness, because pine is an unpretentious tree and is able to find moisture for itself at a depth.
The ideal option for preserving transplanted young growth is mulching the near-stem circle with bark.
NUANCE: I transplant pines (however, like all young trees) into holes so that they are on some (up to 10 cm deepening). This makes it easier to keep the soil moist around the roots.
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