Scots Pine varieties and origins--differences?

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Scots Pine varieties and origins--differences?

Post  pwk5017 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:08 pm

I just discovered that there are quite a few varieties of Scots Pines with subtle differences depending on their geographic region--Scotland, Spain, Russia, Turkey etc. Is anyone familiar with these varieties? Is one a superior candidate for bonsai? I suppose I am looking for which one is the Mikawa of the Scots Pines. Or, similarly which is the japanese larch of the group? I assume they are all pretty close, but one will have slightly shorter needles, better back-budding, better bark, whatever. Anyways, if someone has some insight, I would love to hear about it.

Patrick

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Re: Scots Pine varieties and origins--differences?

Post  JimLewis on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:07 pm

I think the varieties are mostly imaginary and as one reference (below) put it "nationalistic".

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/trees/handbook/th-3-171.pdf

And here -- http://www.conifers.org/pi/Pinus_sylvestris.php -- it says:

Despite its huge range, it is remarkably uniform in its morphology with individual variation within populations much greater than between-population variation. Over 140 subspecies, varieties and forms have been described in an orgy of botanical nationalism, but only the type, var. sylvestris, var. hamata C. Steven (= subsp. hamata (Steven) Fomin), and var. mongolica Litvinov (= subsp. kulundensis Sukaczev) are now normally accepted (Farjon 1998); even these are barely distinguishable from each other.

It says more too, and you may want to read it.  

I'd bet that for bonsai purposes any differences would be miniscule.

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Re: Scots Pine varieties and origins--differences?

Post  fiona on Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:06 pm

'Beuvronensis' used to be the one widely touted as best for bonsai as it has shorter needles.

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Re: Scots Pine varieties and origins--differences?

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:12 pm

If you want to avoid graft unions, seed raised stock is good. Some stock has been selected for better blue color, though they are not as blue as something like colorado blue spruce. Musser tree farm in NY has a cheap deal on 1 or 2 year seedlings, their strain is selected for better Christmas tree traits, mostly just a bit bluer, and a tendency to be slightly more dense with the branching. No botanically significan difference from the species. All have pretty good winter hardiness.

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scots pine

Post  Peter Adams on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:50 pm

In the US, a Scots Pine species called Spanish Pine (P. Sylvestris Gudarama) found at Christmas tree farms, produces small blue/green needles and develops nice rough bark.

Worth a look.

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Peter Adams

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