Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Evergreen Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Vulcan on February 04, 2012, 10:36 AM

Title: Pumila Pines as Bonsai?
Post by: Vulcan on February 04, 2012, 10:36 AM
Have any of you guys worked with a pumila pine, aka Siberian dwarf, as a bonsai? Looks like an interesting species as far as growth characteristics and heartiness, but the availability, from what I've seen, is oftentimes just seeds or seedlings for sale.

Any info. on suitability or experience working with them?

Title: Re: Pumila Pines as Bonsai?
Post by: 0soyoung on February 13, 2012, 06:41 PM
Mugo's tend to be shrub-like yet make outstanding bonsai.  So, I would expect that Pinus Pumila could be excellent as well. 

I recently happened upon a small Pinus Hakkodensis at a local area nursery in Washington.  P Hakkodensis is reportedly a naturally occurring cross of P Parviflora and P. Pumila - looks a lot like a japanese white pine but with denser, bluer, and finer needles.  I've got a 1 gal specimen of each P. Hakk. and P. Parv. right now and am anxious to see their growth differences in the next season.  Right now the P. Hakk. is far prettier and would almost certainly make a much more impressive shohin.  I cannot help but think that the finer and denser foliage characteristic comes from P Pumila and that P Pumila, therefore, could be made into some very nice bonsai indeed.
Title: Re: Pumila Pines as Bonsai?
Post by: Vulcan on February 13, 2012, 07:03 PM
Hi Osoyoung,

Thanks loads for the reply!!

One characteristic of the P. Pumila was that it seems to be very close to a mugo. I'm not familiar with P. Hakkodensis, but my curiosity perked up. As far as the pumila, I'm still in the process of locating a nursery that cultivates them; it's a challenge and shipping to PA is going to be another issue. For the most part, very few places carry them and they seem more destined as an exotic landscaping piece.

Do you have any pics of the Hakkodensis? At any rate, please keep me up to date on the progress.

Title: Re: Pumila Pines as Bonsai?
Post by: 0soyoung on February 18, 2012, 09:49 PM

I think my baby Hakkodensis originated from Iseli Nursery in Oregon ( (  On their web site they say about Hakkodensis:
Long, twisted, green needles with powder-blue striations give this rare pine its bluish cast. A beautiful garden conifer with an open irregular habit, hakkodensis is a naturally occuring hybrid of Pinus parviflora and Pinus pumila. Found on Honshu Island, Japan and introduced to the trade by Joel Spingarn, Long Island, New York in 1982.

In other words, you ought be able to find it in PA without much difficulty.

I've included a photo that shows the differences I talked about before: my baby P. Parviflora in on the left and my P. Hakkodensis is on the right.  Each of these were $13 at my local nursery.  Also, U Alabama, Huntsville has a couple of photos of an Hakkodensis that is/was about 10years old ([url}[/url]).  
Title: Re: Pumila Pines as Bonsai?
Post by: John Kirby on February 19, 2012, 07:36 AM
The reason you don't see a lot of "exotics" as bonsai is simple, the best trees to use are those that give a predictable response to a given treatment/technique. Pinus pumilus should make really nice bonsai, you just need to find out what they will do when treated in specific ways. I imagine that this tree is handled like any goyomatsu (5 needle pine) and there may be many examples in Japanese bonsai that we just don't recognize.

The Hokkadensis is defined as having " long twisted needles" which would generally disqualify tem or bonsai. But the little graft you have looks nice. Good luck, John
Title: Re: Pumila Pines as Bonsai?
Post by: Vulcan on February 19, 2012, 06:42 PM
Thanks Osoyoung for the link and pics. It'll be nice to see how they progress.

Thanks too John for the reply.

I've never worked on a pine before and I wanted to make a point to take a crack at one some time this year.