Questions about Abies pinsapo 'Aurea'

JudyWWW(z7/WA)January 18, 2008

One of my friends gave me a 2' specimen for Christmas having noticed that I always commented on hers when I was in her garden.

I love the look of this tree but would probably not have purchased it for myself as I am not sure how to integrate it into my garden.

I read that it can reach 25' in 20 years and that it ultimately can grow taller so I am reluctant to put it in any of my existing beds knowing that here in the GPNW trees and shrubs often grow larger and faster. I also read that its new growth can easily be burned/damaged by either sun or wind and I get the idea that it needs a fairly high level of moisture.

If you have experience with this tree I would appreciate observations and recommendations for placement, care, and growth rate.

Thanks for your help....jwww

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Mary Palmer

Hi Judy
I have been torturing one in a small pot for years and it has stayed small with root circling the container and coming out the bottom. I haven't experienced the burning of the needles/foliage but I have kept it fairly protected from hot sun since it is in a container. I kind of had the same feeling as you did about the tree when I found out how large it could get...... still not sure what to do with it, maybe put it in the great beyond and let it fend for itself. Bottom line, I suspect that you could keep it in a container for many years and keep it fairly small by root pruning. Hope you get some better suggestions!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 11:34PM
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Abies pinsapo must be my favorite of the firs (although there are some mighty nice forms of A. concolor). I especially like the form 'Glauca' but 'Aurea' is something I certainly wouldn't mind having - a very special plant. So you are fortunate! Also, large ones are very rare in nurseries, and small ones tend to be expensive.

I wouldn't worry too much about wind for this plant around here. Some yellow foliaged conifers don't exhibit their best color in full hot sun. To much shade though will make the branches get leggy with a lot of the inner growth dying off. The best color/overall results might be in about 2/3 sun.

It's wise to plan on giving it a lot of room, though it will remain narrow for many years. I wouldn't worry too much about soil etc. just so it has good drainage. It's reasonably drought tolerant but will grow faster on moist soil.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 11:37PM
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I appreciate the input. I'm sure that I won't keep it in a pot as I have plenty of land and no patience for maintaining plants in pots. The place I have been thinking about does probably have about 3/4 sun in the summer including late afternoon. I don't want to put it where it will shade other plants and I do want to put it where its structure can be appreciated and that combination limits my options. Too bad that I can't plant it on our drain would have the right amount of sun/shade. I do want to have it show its colors to good advantage. It seem like most of those 2/3 sun places are right in the middle of my perennial garden. jwww

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 1:14AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I have a Abies pinsapo, 'Glauca' that has been on my drainfield for at least 25 years. No problems so far. That does not mean it won't be a problem in your situation, however, it doesn't seem to be the water seeker some other trees are. It does have a problem with Sapsuckers though. They have seriously damaged it over the years to the point of restricting it's growth. The tree is about 30 ft. tall.
I acquired a Abies p. 'Aurea' two years ago. It's too young to make any judgements on it. It's in full sun now. If it burns, I'll move it. I'm going to keep it well furnished with branches to discourage the Sapsuckers. They are becoming a serious pest on some of my trees.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 7:17AM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

There's one about 3' tall or so in a pot on the sidewalk in a northwest Seattle neighborhood. Don't think it burns much, maybe a little browning of some tips (as I have probably seen on others elsewhere). Must get hot out there.

Which district you are in can matter to results, farther from the Sound there can be some hot days we don't get here, near the shore.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 3:35PM
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My mom (in Port Townsend) has one in horribly sandy soil in a sunny, windy spot (pretty much all of PT is windy) and I've never seen it burn, it looks great and definitely doesn't look like it's gonna get real huge any time soon.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 12:40AM
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What are my chances with A.pinsapo 'Aurea' in z6b.
Just saw one first time ever and fall in love at the first glance.
Since I don't see any A.pinsapo growing around and the nursery I saw it have a reputation of "zone pushers" I'm getting suspicious.
What would you say?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 8:17PM
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I'm sorry, forgot to add that I'm in a coastal CT.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 8:19PM
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