Limber pines

treebarb Z5 DenverMarch 23, 2010

I spent my lunch hour yesterday at a big box home improvement store and was surprised to see Limber pines on sale. The clerk said they were leftovers from last year and heavily discounted. I'd never seen one up close. They're beautiful, such soft needles. Aren't they more suitable for higher altitudes, say 7,000 ft? I also thought they needed a lower ph than my 7.9. Do any of you grow them in your home landscape? Thankfully I didn't have my truck, so no, I didn't buy one, but I'm curious about them.


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Dan Staley

Don't buy it. They do not like it down here.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 9:44AM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Thanks, Dan. That's what I thought. I'll stick with my favorite Austrian Black pines.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 2:57PM
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Dan Staley

It's my understanding from PestTalk listserv, Barb, that the MPB is moving downhill and starting to attack Austrian black pines in the landscape, just this past year. Seems to be connected to stressful planting sites at this time, so make sure you site it away from reflected heat and get it started properly.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 6:44PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

I had heard MPB had exhausted much of its food source in the mountains and was moving into Ft. Collins. It makes sense that it would spread. I have 3 ABP planted 2 and 3 years ago, 1 6ft and 2 2ft, so it won't be devastating, just a bummer. I do have 27 RMJ seedlings that I put in last spring, looks like all made it through their first winter. I hear MPB will go after them as well. I do need more evergreen plantings on the north side of my property but it sounds like it might be wise to hold off until MPB moves on. Thanks for the info, Dan!
I was hoping for a snow day today to broom off my trees, but I'm on a delayed start instead, so it'll be a quick sweep! Everybody keep safe and warm!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 9:15AM
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Hi, I usually hang out over at the conifer forum, but occasionally pass through here for gardening tips.

Here's another viewpoint on limber pines. Admittedly, I'm a huge fan of this wonderful tree!

A couple of dwarf limber pine selections growing in my own garden.
Pinus flexilis 'Antero'

Pinus flexilis '#83'

Larger specimens growing at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield.

Limber pine selections at Denver Botanic Gardens (York Street).
Pinus flexilis 'Waldorf'

Pinus flexilis 'Cheers'

Pinus flexilis, unnamed selection

Pinus flexilis 'Yellow'

Pinus flexilis 'Blackfoot'

Pinus flexilis 'Sugarloaf'

Magnificent limber pine growing up on Squaw Pass.

Flag trees west of Central City.

Bark detail, with gorgeous red color.


Germinating seed.

Ancient old growth, west of Fairplay.

View toward James Peak, from Baltimore Ridge. Edwin James is credited with naming P. flexilis (specimen in foreground).

They just put some in down at the local Kohl's. Nice!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 3:25AM
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A nursery here in SW KS was selling them last year instead of Austrian Pines. Said they would do great here. But the extension service and every thing else I read said they don't do well here at all. So I never bought one. A pretty tree though. Jay

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 11:14PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Hey sluice, good to hear from you here! Great pics as always. Now you're making me feel bad for passing it up! Not really, not that big box tree anyway. It was probably 5 ft tall and sitting god knows where for a year, but it was pretty.
You know I don't see a lot of small evergreen trees for sale, even at my local nurseries north of Denver. Do you know of any in the front range that carry smaller stock? I eventually want to get a bristlecone and a pinon, but would prefer something I can plant by myself, not those big monsters, but not seedlings either.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 11:40PM
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Hi Barb,

Last year I saw a few smaller bristlecone stock at the Country Fair Garden Center in Arvada, and at Paulino's in Denver (maybe 2-3 feet). Haven't been to either of those nurseries this year yet. Don't recall seeing smaller pinon stock at any nursery - would have brought it home with me if I had!

If you're interested in dwarf trees or unique cultivars, I can put you in touch with a local conifer propagator who has some nice material, including pretty much anything that grows natively in Colorado. Just send me an email via GardenWeb.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 2:30AM
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