Italian Stone Pine Care!

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Italian Stone Pine Care!

Post  djlen on Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:12 pm

I just liberated a droopy Italian Stone Pine from a post Christmas sale at Sam's Club.
I have found that it cannot handle the cold that we experience here in New Jersey in winter
and would like to get some feedback as to how to care for it over the remainder of winter either
indoor in a cool room (50-60 degrees F) or in an unheated garage with a window.
I tend to think the garage is too cold for it as well as outside as it gets into the 20's there as well.
Does anyone have any experience with this tree indoors? I will continue to find out how to deal
with it over time but need some immediate feedback on care at this time.
It was a bit dry and I flushed it twice with water and it drained well. I also soaked the foliage. I
don't think it's in too bad condition now.......just need some after care for now.

djlen
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Re: Italian Stone Pine Care!

Post  Kevin Yates on Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:54 pm

I have tried to grow these indoors in the past and fail miserably. I've since grown a few from seeds and have kept them very happy for the last six years growing them in an insulated but unheated garage here in zone 5! I have even 'watered' them by putting snow on them. I find temperate plants difficult to grow indoors without a dormant period, I've grown Pomegranate and olives in the garage, again with no heat, often well below freezing for months and they of course stress me out but pull through every year.
Hardiness zones are for plants grown outdoors exposed to winter winds and the freeze/ thaws. I'm not sure what my zone 5 garage would be, but I know the olives are at least a zone 8.
With your pine I would imagine that it was grown in a hotter climate and shipped for Christmas so it might not be dormant and under stress. If it doesn't make it I would suggest growing them from seeds. They grow extremely fast and you will have more control over any trunk movement, root placement and branches from the start. Ernie Kuo had a great article on his website about growing and styling these pines, but in a search I could even find his website, send me a link if you find it!
Hope this helps.

Kevin Yates
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Re: Italian Stone Pine Care!

Post  sitarbonsai on Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:28 am

I think you should just keep my a window indoors and open occasionally for some fresh air
does your window get adequate sun?

Justin

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Re: Italian Stone Pine Care!

Post  djlen on Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:12 am

Here in N. Jersey our temps. get to the mid teens for really cold nights only. Usually in the low 20° area.
During the days the temps. are in the 30° - 35° area. My garage is unheated but does have a south facing window. I don't want to keep it in the house if I can help it and I'm wondering if my garage might just be OK for it.

Thoughts?

djlen
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Re: Italian Stone Pine Care!

Post  jjbacoomba on Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:00 am

I just got an Italian Stone Pine too. I dont have to worry too much about cold here in Texas, but I would think that if you keep it in the garage you can always wrap towels around the pot to help keep it warm keeping it by the window. When I know that it will get to freezing or below , I bring my trees into the garage overnight, then put them back out in the morning before work. Usually the temp has risen by then. This will be the first Pine that I will work on. Should be an interesting experience for me. Keep us posted. Thanks, Joe

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Re: Italian Stone Pine Care!

Post  djlen on Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:20 pm

Thanks for the reply -

I am re-hydrating it now and my intention is to give it as much humidity and light as I can inside in a cooler (50 - 60°F) plant room.
Then when I get a few days in the upper 30's outside to move it to the garage.
Does this sound do-able or would the shock of that move be too much for it without a longer hardening off period?
I've got some people thinking that I might be able to keep it alive inside for the duration of Winter but I'd
prefer to let it go dormant outside. Just worry that it won't be able to take the shock from the cool plant room
to the 30° garage.

djlen
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Italian Stone Pine

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:11 pm

Unfortunately, I have nothing good to add from Zone 5. Sad
I tried them two or three times. They got through the winter & died over the summer. No
They would be a wonderful subject for Pierneef style, since that is the way they grow. I wish I could grow one, since it grows all over Israel. Bonsai growers in Israel have them, so it would probably do fine in Texas.
Iris

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Re: Italian Stone Pine Care!

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:23 pm

They are quite difficult to do successfully, even in aqequately warm winter conditions. They revert to adult growth with excessively long needles that have to be plucked regularly, don't bud back particularly well and are very slow to thicken, unless you can plant them out in the ground for a few years, with regular cutting back.

_________________
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

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Re: Italian Stone Pine Care!

Post  djlen on Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:00 pm

Kev, yours is the first reply I've had that says that they are difficult to grow. I know that then need
special winter care here in NJ, but hopefully they will adapt over the summer and back into the garage
to over winter next year.
That is if I can save them from their ordeal at Sam's and lessen the agony of temp. shock with so
little hardening off time.

djlen
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Re: Italian Stone Pine Care!

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