Pinus thunbergii oculis draconis - size

botanimanMarch 22, 2012

Last year I bought a 5' tall "dragon's eye" Japanese black pine (P. thunbergii) at a local nursery of good repute. I really like it.

However I'm a bit worried that it will get too large for the space. The information on the tag said that it was a compact, slow grower to a moderate 20'-30'. However online there is sparse and conflicting information, some of which says it will grow as fast as the standard P. thunbergii. I've got a small lot, so my space probably can't handle a fast grower. As a related question, how feasible might it be to keep it to 15' with some careful pruning?

In the end I need to decide if I can keep this or if I should find another home for it.


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

its a stunning plant ...

it can easily be managed with CANDLE PRUNING ... key word there ...

they are all near terminal for me.. thuns ... but i dont know how that relates to you ... all it suggests to me.. enjoy the heck out of it for the 5 to 10 years i would get.. and dont worry about 30 years down the line ...

intro to conifers at link.. it should discuss candle pruning superficially .. i might suggest a size that allows comfort of pruning on your ladder.. 15 feet might be a bit high ...

my bottom line.. is usually along the lines of.. buy what makes your toes tingle.. enjoy the heck out of it.. and when and if it outgrows the space.. move on ...

its rather a fools errand to buy plain old stuff to perfectly fit a space.. rather to enjoy a prime specimen.. for ONLY a decade or two ...

WELCOME to GW.. can you post a pic for us to enjoy your new treasure???


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 7:20AM
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sounds and looks like a beauty and i agree with poster #2 who will remain nameless for a change, but from what i've read i'd say it's unlikely to exceed a 20' volume of space for 20-25 years(from current height)...without candle pruning. btw, easier to limit lateral vs vertical growth later on (duh)... what's above it in the current space? 8"/year looks like best growth rate estimate to me. it deserves a prominent viewing space and eastern gardeners have been pruning this like large bonsai's for hundreds of years.....but isn't it a Japanese red pine?

Here is a link that might be useful: a tree a day

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 8:17PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

but isn't it a Japanese red pine?

==>> conifers is the only place i have learned ONLY latin.. what is a red pine.. other than an inanimate object with needles ...

i hate the name OD ... which is probably not even valid [but for an exception for stupid old mistakes] .. because the nimrods spread it all around the different family of pine.. out into abies ... and various other place ... its right up there with 'variagata' ... 'variegated' ... etc ..

truly lacking for a cultivar name.. that is supposed to be as unique as the plant it describes ...

so far.. i have a densiflora called OD.. a strobus called OD .. and i used to have a thun called OD ... whats that all about ...

and just to top it off.. they are also sold under the name dragon eye ... [which is the plain words for Occulis Draconis]

well.. enough for the gratuitous crabbiness of the day ... lol ..


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:54AM
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you're allowed one... i was just thinking about another reason for his conflicting information on the web, other than the fact it's the web.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 9:39AM
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