Species Specific > White Pine Bonsai Discussion

eastern white pine, are they really as bad as everyone says?

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i live in an area surrounded by eastern white pines, and there is one that looks pretty old growing in a rock crevice. its in a perfect spot to collect, and has a very nice trunk. its a medium sized tree (about 15 in.), but has good movement and a thick trunk (about 3 in.) it looks like a nice little tree, still pretty flexible and could be made into something nice. i was about to collect it last year so i read about them online to look for any tips for collecting and growing them, all i heard was that they were pretty bad for use as bonsai. this made me decide to wait to try it. everyone said that they rarely bud-back, have very long internodes and the needles do not reduce. there also seems to be problems with the bark ageing slowly. i will probably collect it over the next year, just take it slow and hope it turns out alright.

so basically what im asking is has anyone had any experience with them? do any of you have any tips for needle reducing, or getting it to grow more compact?  it should be similar to all five needles, but i just want to check if it really will be worth it in the end. thanks, mike.

I think you've certainly got the right idea and attitude towards giving it a shot.  I have no experience with eastern white pine for bonsai, but have heard the same as you.  There's a nursery grafter here that uses them as understock for Japanese 5-needle, so if nothing else you could always try grafting.

I say go for it, if you have permission to collect it, of course.  I would love to see your progress documented.

Lindsay Farr demonstrates grafting JWP foliage onto a decent P. strobus trunk in one of his videos.

Don Blackmond:
here is a photo of Jim Doyle's eastern white pine on display at the Midwest Bonsai Show in 2010.

Here's an au naturale EWP @ the NC Arboretum's permanent collection.  The user AJ here may have more information.


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