Pinus-

Pine

Evergreen conifers, identifiable by the elongated needles grouped on the twigs.

Situation:

Pines are very tolerant to drought and there are many species growing in poor soil, for instance along the coast. The somewhat smaller, decorative species are suitable for gardens.

Soil:

Most pines appreciate acid soil; the mountain pine and the shore pine tolerate chalk.

Propagation:

The species from seed, garden varieties by grafting or from cuttings.

Pinus densiflora, Japanese red pine: Height to 30 m, umbel-shaped crown. Of more interest for gardens in Britain is the cultivar ‘Umbraculifera’, slow-growing to a height of 3 m. The needles are limp and dark green, 6-11 cm long, grouped in pairs.

Pinus mugo syn Pinus montana, mountain pine: Tree to 10 m in height, but more often growing as a shrub. Needles 3-8 cm long, dark green, in pairs. The sub-species mugo and pumilio do not grow beyond 1-2 m, broad habit. Pinus nigra: Height to 40 m, sharply pointed dark-green needles, 9-16 cm long, grouped in pairs. The sub-species nigra is the Austrian pine, very well known and beautiful in reasonably sized gardens, though in the course of time it grows rather too large . The cultivar ‘Pygmaea’, to 3 m, is more suitable; the needles turn yellow in winter.

Pinus parviflora: Height to 15 m; blue-green needles, 2-7 cm long, in bundles of 5, strongly contorted and assembled at the tip of the twigs. In ‘Glauca’ the foliage is of an even deeper blue. Very fine.

Pinus strobus, Weymouth pine: Height to 40 m; needles 7-12 cm long, dark blue-green, in bundles of 5. ‘Radiata’ is a beautiful dwarf form, to 1 m.

Pinus sylvestris, Scots pine: Height to 35 m; picturesque, umbrella-shaped crown. Very numerous in Britain. Needles 3-6 cm long, blue green, in pairs. There are a few low-growing cultivars, for instance ‘Watereri’, slow-growing and globular in shape; the needles blue grey. Pinus wallichiana syn Pinus griffithu: Height 20-25 m; very long needles, 12-18 cm, blue grey with white streaks; they droop in bundles of 5. A beautiful specimen tree, but not very frost resistant.

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