Conifers suitable for Austin, TX

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Conifers suitable for Austin, TX

Post  joagraha on Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:57 pm

I'm interested in expanding my bonsai experience into the Pinacea family, particularly interested in small-needle pines. I live in Austin, TX which is either zone 8 or 9 (8, officially, I believe). The Sunset climate zone is 30. From my online research I'm seeing mixed messages about suitability of pine as bonsai in this neck of the woods. It appears Jap. Black Pine will be fine. Pinyon Pine also seems okay. I'd like to get ahold of a jap. white pine, but most of what I read indicate that white pine likely wouldn't do well here.

Have any other Austin or Hill Country enthusiasts been successful with white pine? Do you have any suggestions for other species I haven't mentioned?

Thanks,


adam

joagraha
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Re: Conifers suitable for Austin, TX

Post  JimLewis on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:08 am

What are the native pines around Austin, if any?

I'd guess that Mugo pines should do well there.

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Re: Conifers suitable for Austin, TX

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:38 am

I think it would be too hot for Mugo pines. Many struggle in Zone 7 climates.

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Re: Conifers suitable for Austin, TX

Post  Jkd2572 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:14 am

I have a white pine grafted on black pine. Does good here in the dallas area. You get the white pine foliage with the black pine tuff root stock and awesome bark.

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Re: Conifers suitable for Austin, TX

Post  Leo Schordje on Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:45 pm

I don't live in your area, I don't know what will do well or what won't. Since nobody from your area jumped in I thought I'd offer what I would do in your situation.

Wander over to a garden center or nursery. A reputable one, that guarantees to replace trees if they die in less than a year. Preferable one that also has landscape design service available. They would know what trees survive in the local landscape. Because this type of higher end nursery center has an interest in satisfied customers, customer service and the word of mouth referral network, they will be more careful to only recommend trees that will do well in your location. Talk to them about what species pines could be planted in your yard. You don't have to complicate the question with adding that it is going to be bonsai, then after you have the list of available species that they know do well there, go look at those species, see have good characteristics for bonsai.

I would guess Ponderosa, Japanese Black Pine, and any of the 3 or 4 closely related species of pinion pine would do well, but I would ask at a landscape nursery what they use. Drive around, see what kinds of pines people have planted, see what's growing in the parks or around the golf courses. Pinus sylvestris, Scotch pine, has a form that thrives in Spain, most likely it is another that will do well. I would guess most 5 needle pines would be a bad choice. Find the Austin Bonsai Society. Their members would know. Dallas Bonsai http://www.dallasbonsai.com/ would know what does well in Dallas, and most likely would know what works in your area too.
Hope this helps.

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Re: Conifers suitable for Austin, TX

Post  peter keane on Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:20 pm

you might have luck with lodgepole pine (pinus contorta). I've seen monterrey pine (pinus radiata) in San Antonio. just some thoughts.

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Re: Conifers suitable for Austin, TX

Post  JMcCoy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:00 am

Hi fellow Austinite!
The only local pine trees are the "Lost Pines" of Bastrop which are a form of Loblolly Pine. There are only a few that have made passable Bonsai though. The best for this area is the Japanese Black Pine which seems to love the climate. White Pines don't do very well here (though I've seen some in Dallas), only lasting about 6 years before collapsing from the heat and lack of winter-rest.

My suggestion is to visit Mike Hansen at MBP Bonsai Studio:
http://mbpbonsai.com/
or Chuck Ware at Jade Gardens Bonsai:
http://bonsaiexhibittexas.com/

Also why not become part of the Austin Bonsai Society:
http://www.austinbonsaisociety.com/
We have a great group that has a wealth of information!

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Conifers suitable for Austin, TX

Post  ironman on Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:50 pm

There is one more available...well sort of.
It's the Pinion Pine and can be found near and west of Leakey, TX.
I have one which appeared after collecting an Ash Juniper.
It's got a small, tight candle growth which makes it delightful.
My problem; how and when to separate the two!!!
Confused

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Re: Conifers suitable for Austin, TX

Post  JMcCoy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:45 pm

Hey Jack!
I've been wanting to work with Pinions for a while (there are some TERRIFIC looking ones in New Mexico which make me want to grab my shovel!) but I'm not aware of anyone here growing them.. don't know why. It seems the weather should be about right, but maybe they require less humidity to thrive. Don't know..

I'd say separate when you're ready to remove the old soil from the Ashe, and only in the Spring.

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Hooray for Austin!

Post  mike page on Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:23 pm

I speak as a bonsai nut and a Formula 1 racing fan. At this moment, I'm checking out posts on IBC and watching on tv the practice session on the new race track. Austin has done a great job! Very Happy

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