Pinus thunbergii for zone 8?

alabamatreehugger(8)February 23, 2014

Anyone have experience with Pinus thunbergii in southeastern (Alabama) zone 8? I'm building a rustic style screened porch addition on the back of my house and I would like to have a small grove of trees next to it for a woodland type feel. I can't use any native pines in this spot because they grow too large to be that close to the house. I'm thinking of using Japanese Black pine with a mixture of smaller deciduous trees like Chalk Maple and Sourwood. My soil can get a little wet during the winter, but it dries out during the growing season. Any opinions on how this plan would work, or suggestions on other trees?

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beng(z6 western MD)

They get devastated here by pine wilt -- essentially useless. Too bad, I like the picturesque form. Seen a attractive row of them along a road killed in 2 seasons.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:10AM
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I was afraid of that. I remember around 10 years ago someone built a new house and planted probably two dozen of them for screening, but now they're all gone. I wasn't sure if they died or if they were removed for some other reason.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:32AM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

And yet even the better mail order nurseries are carrying many Scotch pine cultivers and P. thunbergii selections. They all stopped offering Bradford pears long long ago why are they still offering something that is doomed? At one time Bradfords were the darling of the tree world.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 1:28PM
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wannabegardnr(7 Maryland)

I just read fairfield's post. So is Pinus sylvestris a bad choice for the east coast, mid-Atlantic too? It seems to have many popular cultivars.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:15AM
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Yep, Scots Pine is not a good choice, at least for trees.

Dwarf cultivars of Scots Pine should be OK though, as the longhorn beetles that spread pine wilt are only attracted to feed in larger trees (approx 5-10 metres or more tall). So small plants escape infection.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:00PM
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wannabegardnr(7 Maryland)

Okay, thanks for the explanation. The popular ones I know of are all dwarfs.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 10:44AM
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Mail order nurseries tend to service a wide area - like the entire country.Pine wilt is not a major issue in western zone 8 locations so both of these pine species are still viable and popular options in some parts of the country.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 7:01PM
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My parents had a lot of "Black Pines" and they all died out because of turpentine beetles. Not sure if they were Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii) or Austrian Black Pines...according to the interwebs both are being devastated by diseases spread by turpentine beetles.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:41AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Maybe pines native to the region do better in plantings there.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:47PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

I have a Pinus thunbergii 40ft tall. My neighbor had one about 12 ft. tall that a borer killed. It went in just above ground level.
Mine is far. I may saw it down before one of the two leaders starting at about 20 ft. splits off and falls where I don't want it to fall. If one half goes the other half is sure to follow. I'm not particularly thrilled with it anyway, because of it's dull green color. Austrian black pines are much better looking, especially trimmed niwaki style.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:22AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

We're in a different part of the country here, of course. Japanese black pine is common here, where what stands out about it - apart from the branching habit - is the richness and darkness of the foliage color and the contrasting white winter buds. If yours has poor foliage color it either has an issue or it is not a Japanese black pine.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:32PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Ron, I assure you it's a Pinus thunbergii, and at 13 meters in 30 years it has no 'issues'. I'd take a picture, but I just got home from northern Idaho and it's dark here now.
The point I was trying to make is that Pinus nigra is a lot darker than a Japanese Black Pine, making it pale looking in comparison.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 11:15PM
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