need name/suggestion of a pine for groundcover

tsuki(9)October 20, 2004


I've looked through most of the forums & hope someone can suggest the name of a pine similar to Mugho (but much faster growing) that I could use on a west facing bank.I want to have mostly evergreens and rocks on the bank.I have seen a pine shrub in Japanese gardens before that wasn't Mugho but haven't found out what it was yet.Pruning to keep it low would be no problem. Thanks.

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yama(7b Ga)

It is called "Tagyosho" in Japan . cultivar of red pine tree. In USA, wrongly called "Tanyo sho" some time called table top pine. The fiest English book of Japanese garden introdued to west in late 1800's made missspelled. since then, Tagyosho is called Tanyo sho now
since you are in Oregon, It is easy to find it localy.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 3:03AM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)


Please call Steve. He is trying to contact you!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 9:36AM
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Tsuki, Mike has recommended "Tanyosho", which you might also look for under the botanical name Pinus sylvestris 'Umbraculifera'. You will see them grafted up on a standard, and sheared like crazy or poodled. They are upright-growing, so if you found one low-grafted, it would have to be worked quite a bit to keep it spreading. Will need annual knowledgeable shearing, as I have proof in my yard that they can become rangey old trees if not shaped annually. For a truly prostrate pine, the best I have seen is Pinus sylvestris 'Albyn'. Sometimes mistakenly called "Albyn's Prostrate." It is a blue Scots pine that literally crawls on the ground. Takes a bit of time to establish, but we have one in the landscape at work that is 8" high and 12' across in 15 years. Would look wonderful on a bank! Unfortunately, it's also not extremely common, but we're blessed with lots of specialty nurseries here in OR! What general area are you in? "Zone 8" covers a lot of territory!



    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 11:14AM
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kobold(Vancouver BC)


I just bought a Pinus Sylvesrtis "Hillside Creeper". Waterfall effect between the rocks.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 1:20PM
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Hi Everyone,
Thanks so much for the suggestions.I'll be checking them out later today. I'm going to need lots in the seedling state (that's why I needed fast growing) because the bank is huge 50 ft.long and 10-15 ft. high.Also we have deer that like just about everything. The pines we have planted haven't appealed to them though so I felt they would be a safe choice. Susan we are in a little town near Roseburg. Where are you?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 1:58PM
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ScottReil_GD(z5 CT)

I know you said pine, but Japanese garden juniper would work and deer won't muck with that either...

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 5:29PM
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yama(7b Ga)

Hi tsuki
I agree 100% to Scott. if you are looking for ground cover on bank , Tagyo sho is not best choice. ...mike

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 11:19PM
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Good, proven Junipers for ground cover -- Juniperus horizontalis 'Wiltoni' also called "Blue Rug Juniper" is gray and very flat, very fine texture. Juniperus x-media 'Daub's Frosted' is a wonderful 2-toned spreader, gold on top where it gets the light, bluish underneath where it is shaded. I personally hate 'Blue Carpet' -- will cover lots of ground in a hurry, but grows at such a rate that I think of it as "Blue Gorilla!" And of course, Scott mentioned "Japanese garden juniper" -- Juniperus procumbens nana, sometimes called "Green Mound" or "Kiyome."

There are also plenty of Euonymus and Cotoneaster that will cover lots of ground. Mike and Edzard and George, how would you guys go about covering a bank that large, given the ability to use any of the wonderful plants available here in the "banana belt" of the northwest? Tsuki, do you already have a Japanese garden, and how does this bank relate?

I'm between Mount Angel and Silverton, about 20 miles northeast of Salem, and unfortunately, severely geographically challenged once I get south of Corvallis!


    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 12:37PM
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LouisWilliam(Z5 MA)

Juniperus is a great choice - I use procumbens because of the color. You need to consider both growing and dormant color. Don't assume it is deer proof - I lost about a dozen last Feb when the 200lb rats had eaten everything else and decided to sample the junipers. They might not prefer it, but they will eat it. And break everything they don't eat when they step on it.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 4:51PM
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well, thanks to all your suggestions I've got it narrowed down (sort of). I'm going to check around for the availability for some of these. I really like the looks of Pinus thunbergii 'Thunderhead' which isn't a groundcover but it is kind of the look we want pruned. Here are the other contenders:
Pinus thunbergii 'Thunderhead'
Pinus strobus 'Blue Shag'
Pseudotsuga menziesii 'Little Jon' dwarf doug fir
Picea pungens 'Globe colorado spruce
Juniperus procumbens
Pinus sylvestris 'Albyn'
Pinus Sylvesrtis 'Hillside Creeper'
Juniperus horizontalis 'Wiltoni'
Pinus resinosa ÂQuinobequinÂ
Pinus resinosa ÂDon SmithÂ
Pinus contorta ÂSpaans DwarfÂ
I liked the Iseli Nursery site for pics & descriptions & I also found this one in the link below.
We don't have a Japanese garden per se but we do incorporate that type of plantings & sculpture wherever we's a 10 acre piece & we've kept it mostly native & wild except for the house.The bank is in back of the house.Unfortunately there is no native rocks on the property & we've had to import all that we have.
Do you have a Japanese Garden way up there in Silverton ? :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Conifer Cultivars of North America

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 8:11PM
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Tsuki, wow! I see that you have "cut to the chase" and landed square on a couple of the most elite lists of conifers in the Northwest. Good going! You'll find Bob at Coenosium to be very knowledgeable. The 'Thunderhead' is a beautiful tree, but do be aware that as it gets larger, it tends to be brittle. Heavy, wet loads of snow or ice will break it readily. We had 3 20-yr-olds go down in last January's storm.

No, no Japanese garden here yet. We have 32 acres, 25 of which are devoted to cattle, sheep, goats and horses. I work at a wholesale propagation nursery, and also have a 2800sq ft greenhouse at home where I do some contract grafting in my "spare time". Came here looking for Japanese maple threads back before there was a Maple forum, and liked the feel of the conversation. It got me interested in learning enough that when we do eventually build the new house and do some real landscape, I'll incorporate some Japanese garden ideas somewhere. The discussion of ideas here is such that even if I don't understand the topic of the post, the ensuing exchange usually makes a light bulb turn on.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2004 at 12:15PM
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LouisWilliam(Z5 MA)

Tsuki - If you want Thunderhead but expect to prune it low, you might consider v. "Mt Hood", a dwarfed form of Thunderhead (sounds like it came from your neck of the woods) It is naturally low and irregularly branched like Thunderhead. I can't speak for long term cold and wind hardiness yet, but it seems able to shed snow. I find the darker pines warm up in the sun and melt off snow more than silvestris. Maybe snow is not a problem where you are of course.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2004 at 1:51PM
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