growing nut pines from seed

cousinfloydSeptember 2, 2012

I currently have one Italian stone pine (pinus pinea) that's been in the ground for about 3-4 years and one Korean nut pine (P. koraiensis) that I ordered as a bareroot tree and potted up in the spring of 2012. My understanding is that I need at least two of each for cross-pollination to ever have any hope of getting nuts. I'd like to have 3-6 of the Korean nut pines anyways. I've actually purchased a total of 4 bare root Korean nut pines already and only had one to establish well and survive. I'm wondering if I'd be better off starting them from seed, and I want to grow some from seed anyway. Is nut pine seed available to purchase anywhere? Anyone on this forum (in the US) have seeds he could sell (or trade, if I happened to have anything he wanted)? Any pointers? Thanks very much!

-Eric

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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Go to F.W. Schumachers online and purchase trial packets. or, 1 oz. of seed is appx. the same price.

Just so you know. A five year old Pinus koraiensis plant will be about 4-6" tall. They're very slow. So, you might just be better off purchasing already grown seedlings.

Dax

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:58AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the only difference between seed grown.. and a live one.. is the number of years you can cut off the time it takes to get an actual crop ... if the mail order one is 2 to 4 years old.. as compared tot he seed.. etc ...

i might suggest it was improper planting.. that caused your failures .. most pine are nearly bulletproof on transplant and getting established ... and if you had trouble with transplanting.. then starting seed might not be any easier ...

do you wish to discuss how you planted them????

ken

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 11:26AM
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pineresin

The risk with getting nursery-grown plants in is that they might all be grafted plants all of the same clone, and therefore not be effective for cross-pollination. If you do go for nursery plants, make sure they include at least two different named cultivars (and not dwarf ones!).

Resin

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:25PM
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pasadena(z6-7WA)

I've bought monophylla from Liston Pine Nuts and had almost 100% germination, of what we didn't eat; however, they are very slow growing...

Here is a link that might be useful: Liston PIne Nuts

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:44PM
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cousinfloyd

Thanks, all, for the replies.

I didn't know about FW Schumacher, so that pointer was very helpful. Trying to grow pine nuts is strictly a hobby for me, so starting from seed just adds to the interest of it all, even if it costs me extra years. Should I even expect P. pinea and/or P. koraiesnsis to survive to maturity and yield nuts that I (or my children) will be able to harvest and eat in zone 7 North Carolina? I figure the Italian stone pine will probably succumb to an ice storm if not just the cold (although its taken 3 degrees F unprotected already, which is pretty extreme for here.) I'm more hopeful for the Korean pine. Does anyone else on this forum in a similar climate eat pine nuts from his own trees?

The one P. pinea I have I bought as a leftover potted miniature Christmas tree after Christmas. The Korean pine I got as a bare root tree from a nursery out West. I assumed they were both seedlings, but I don't really know. I suppose if I grow their mates from seed it won't matter.

Thanks for asking about how I planted them, Ken. I got 2 Korean pines last year from the West Coast and planted them in large pots in a mixture of about 50/50 barn compost (from cattle manure and kiln dried pine sawdust) and sandy clay. The one seems to be looking very good and taking off now in its second growing season with me. The other dried up within a month. This year my order got delayed a couple months and I didn't get the trees until May. I put them in fairly heavy shade and gradually transitioned them to nearly full sun over several weeks, but they just gradually lost all their green over those 6-8 weeks. Besides just being interested in growing trees from seed, I was hoping that starting from seed would allow me to time things for a better time of year and also save any shipping or bare root transplanting issues. I've had very good success with all sorts of other things I've had shipped bare root and potted up: a crab apple, an Asian persimmon, goumis, ribes, a cork oak, an Asian pear, a mulberry, kiwis... I assumed the trouble with the Korean pines wasn't just random but had something to do with difficulties specific to Korean pines or pines in general.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:47PM
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jocelynpei

We have filled pinus koraiensis nuts from our trees on PEI, in the Gulf of St Lawrence. I suspect they would be Ok in zone 7, where you are. I can't speak to germination, as I came here looking for tips. We got our first cones this year. Couldn't help ourselves, but we ate some. Yummy.

Jocelyn

    Bookmark   November 19, 2014 at 6:46AM
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