Pinus thunbergii gold/variegated cultivars: need info

parviflorafanJanuary 5, 2014

We want to add a gold/variegated Pinus thunbergii. We have "Thunderhead" and "Kotobuki" and love the white winter buds. The cultivars we are considering are "Shirome Janome", "Ogon" and the hybrid "Beni Kujaku".

The "Ogon" we saw at the nursery is growing at 12-15" per year whereas many websites place it under dwarf section. The tree at the nursery resembles "Shirome Janome" that I saw at another nursery and has glowing gold tips in summer.

Does anyone have experience growing this tree in zone 5?

Please give more information on the appearance as well as growth rates/forms of "Ogon", "Shirome Janome" and "Beni Kujaku".

Pictures are welcome. We can buy only one of these 3 trees. Thanks in advance.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

where are you again???? ... z5 is so wide ranging .... i wish you would go to your members page and add a city next to that 5 ...

ogon ... easily exceeds 15 inches per year for me... it greens somewhat ... and is spectacular as a thun itself ... rather muted coloration ... at 12 years or so from a one gallon 15 to 18 feet tall.. and ten wide ... it is not a small conifer ....

ANY variegated one.. including both you list.. died for me within 5 years ... all variegation burned off in winter ... i will not buy such again ...

nor any other thuns ... we discussed this long ago .. i dont recall if its a root stock issue.. or a weather issue ... or if they just hate me ...

i have no problem with the simple green ones ...

dave is z5 KC ... i grow lots of stuff he doesnt.. i believe its his opinion that it is night humidity that is the big difference.. because it sure isnt day heat ... that is why you need to tell us where you are in z5 ... hopefully he will chime in and disabuse me of any mistakes ... and add his knowledge and wisdom ....


    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 1:46PM
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Thank you, Ken.

We live in upstate New York. Lots of reservoirs and lakes around. The trees will be planted on the Northwest side. The "Ogon" we saw at the local nursery had green needles with gold tips in August. So, we wondered if it was a mislabeled "Shirome Janome". We had seen a "Shirome Janome" that looked very similar. Does it turn as bright as Pinus sylvestris "Gold Coin" or Pinus virginiana "Wate's Golden" ? We have these two.

We had Abies procera "Sherwoodii" that got burned badly in winter (though it received only 4 hours of sun) and then turned brown in summer and died. The tree lasted only a year. But Pinus densiflora "Oculis Draconis" is doing well in a similar location.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 3:24PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

thun ogon will never be as gold as gold coin/aurea .... if that is your goal ...

can you do flexilis??? .... look for southbridge .... though i bought it labeled as a strobus ... if you want something toe curling ...

below are some pix from 2007 ... man i need to update my pix ... note the coloration.. and the growth rate ... its at least 3 times as big now .. there is no mistaking it from shirome janome ... i swear i had SJ but i have no pix of it.. but google shows it as a banded OD ... not a yellow tree ...


    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 3:48PM
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Thanks for the pictures.

"Ogon" looks great. I guess I will drop "Shirome Janome". Now I have to decide between "Beni Kujaku" and "Ogon"

Looked up Pinus flexilis "Southbridge". Looks cool. Will look around to see where I can find it.

I am also looking up Pinus resinosa " Aurea" and Pinus heldreichii/leucodermis "Aureospicata" . Do you have any info about these?


    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 10:09PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i have a couple leuco ... got them from gary gee .....when gee visited with joy ... i pointed them out.. and commented on their lack of vigor but refusal to thrive.. he laughed.. and said something along the lines that he was fixated on them for a few years ...

back then .. i collected any name not already in my dB ... as in the leuco part of the name ..... never figured out why they refuse to thrive ... i dont recall if it was an understock issue .... recollection is a tough nut.. i do not intend to put words in anyones mouth ... gary used to pop in and out of GW once in a blue moon.. i will defer to his knowledge.. and his recollection of any conversation we had ....

resinosa aurea... is stunning.. to die for.. and incredible ... go for it ...

i would suggest.. BK even for a few years.. over the ogon ... but the ogon for the decades ... i dont know your toe curling versus shock of loss/death quotient ... i guess if it were me... i would go small on BK ... less investment to lose.. if budget is an issue ... in other words.. a mall resinosa.. and a small BK ... being the same investment as one larger of either .... but again.. budget is yoru issue .. not mine ...

maybe pix later.. if i am amused ... though i am not sure i was ever inspired enough to even take a pic of the leuco's .... and that has to tell you something ...


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 8:05AM
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Wow! Didn't know Leucodermis is tough to grow. Have one "Blue Eyes" planted in an open, windy, cold location close to the street that gets snow pile and salt from the street/neighbor's driveway. It is doing well.

Other one, "Schmidtii" is on a standard, is in a sheltered location near a pond. No I don't want death. I still haven't recovered from the death fo Abies procera "Sherwoodii". Will go for larger Resinosa "Aurea" and smaller "Beni Kujaku" and a tiny "Ogon" (since it grows fast anyway.

I have had bad luck with Abies Lasiocarpa Glauca compacta. One tree died (the buds didn't grow in spring and then turned brown). It was so beautiful that I bought another from a different source. That also died next spring, in the same way. Pinus aristata and Pinus banksiana are the other two pines that could not survive more than one season.

I appreciate your help in making the decision.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 7:12PM
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