Pinus parviflora varieties

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Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Lee Brindley on Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:48 pm

Does anybody here know anything about white pine varieties?

I visited a garden center today which had three different varieties in stock. The only real differene I could find was the colouration of the needles. The one which I chose to purchase was "Kiomatsu" as much because of the neat graft as much as anything, although I also found the blue-green foliage pleasing to the eye. Unfortunatly I cannot recall the names of the other two varieties. I was just wondering what are the main JWP varieties used for bonsai, is there a superior variety and what are the different characteristics of the different varieties?

Many thanks, Lee.

Lee Brindley
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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:52 pm

Lee,

Five-needle pines (JWP) are divided by geographical origins in Japan. Fukushima, Miyajima, Shikoku, Nassu, etc are all names that the Japanese use to distinguish between geographical races of the same species of pine. There doesn't seem to be any genetic variation in black and red pines in Japan (or at none that was ever pointed out to me), but the differences in five-needle pines can be dramatic. There are also actual named dwarf varieties of five-needle pine like 'kokonoe' and 'zuisho' that are very popular as bonsai, especially 'zuisho'. It has been about 25 years since I've had any contact with a Japanese five-needle pine, so I can't really tell you much more. I am a little curious about the other two they had. I've never heard of 'kiomatsu', but that's an indication of nothing really. There are named selections of Japanese black pine, and Japanese red pine too, but I think those names mean more to us than they do the Japanese. Maybe someone else here has some real experiences they can share. Hope that helps a little.

R

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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Neil Jaeger on Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:02 pm

You should get Bonsai Today Masters' Series Pines. It has all the best kinds of white and black pines to use for bonsai that include (all White pine) Aoi, Azuma-tendiu, Zuisho, Kokonoe, Hoku-azuma, Azuma-tendai, Azuma-nishiki, Horai, Haniri-yanomi, Hinirishi, Haniryoko, and Orizurui-ba. Now finding these is another matter. There is 150 different cultivars Good luck to you.

Neil

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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:05 pm

Could Kiomatsu be a confusion of Goyomatsu?

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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Neil Jaeger on Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:06 pm

"kuromatsu" means japanese black pine according to this book. Maybe misspelled?

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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:32 pm

will baddeley wrote:Could Kiomatsu be a confusion of Goyomatsu?

I kinda doubt it. Neil, "kuromatsu" is indeed "black pine", and "akamatsu" is "red pine". But "goyomatsu" is NOT "white pine", it's "five-needle pine" which is why I use that name and not JWP. I'm not familiar with the book (or whatever it is) and I'm only familiar with the 2 you list that I mentioned earlier - never heard of the others. Are the ones you mention dwarf varieties? 'Kokonoe' was the most popular dwarf until 'zuisho' blew the others away, and I'd be willing to bet that it is really the only selection that gets serious attention these days. I'd also be willing to bet that the vast majority of those others you mention (and the other 140ish you don't) are garden varieties popular with collectors of odd plants and not bonsai folks. The Japanese are nuts over strange plants and variegation and pines are no exception.


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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Neil Jaeger on Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:32 am

I appologize for not mentioning that Bonsai Today Master' Series Pines is a book. In the book there are descriptions of the differnt types of cultivars that are used for bonsai along with pictures of the foliage. I would think these are dwarf cultivars as the needles are 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. Pretty much the only reason i quoted the book is because i don't know what differnt cultivars are aviaible in the UK. As for the other 150 it does include all of the other varietys, they are said not to lend themselves as well to bonsai cause of long needles and longer internode length. I am in no way an expert in anything, i was only trying to help with a few differnt options if the sitituation occurs. It is kind of wierd that latter in the book's gallery the trees (10 or so) are all just labeled Japanese White Pines.

Neil

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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Alain Bertrand on Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:46 am

"kiomatsu" could probably be the incorrect transcription of 清松 (kiyomatsu, "pure pine").

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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:59 pm

Alain, I bet that's exactly what happened - nice catch!

Neil, please don't take my comments as a dismissal of yours, that's certainly not the point I'm trying to make. I'm just passing along what I've personally experienced firsthand vs what's coming out of a book. The fact that you back up what I said about named selections being garden pines and not bonsai pines is very telling and makes we wonder what Lee's finding at that garden center. Seems to me that he'd find one of these ornamental or dwarf selections there rather than something sought after by bonsai growers - not that they can't overlap. It's the same with Japanese maples, junipers and cryptomerias - hundreds of named varieties for sale but only a handful used for bonsai (in Japan). For kicks, check out ebay seller "oregongrownnursery" and take a look at their conifer and maple offerings. I'm not endorsing them, just using their site to show the amazing diversity of these plants.

To wrap this up, let me say this... Except for the dwarf varieties already mentioned, I never saw five-needle pine bonsai with any other name except for maybe the geographical race, just like the ones you mention in the back of the book. The Japanese take their conifer bonsai very seriously, it's pretty much straight species for pine, juniper, yew or spruce. That seemed to relax a little with deciduous material, and of course satsuki just blows it all away. What was Lee's question? I hope it's answered in all of this somewhere!

Russell Coker
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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Lee Brindley on Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:57 pm

Thanks to all for the replies. Very Happy

Lee Brindley
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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  William N. Valavanis on Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:20 pm

Russel,

In the early 1970's when I was apprenticing bonsai in Omiya there was a "Yatsubusa Boom" for Japanese five-needle pines. New cultivars were always being introduced. In fact, in my Japanese five-needle pine book, published in 1976 I listed 159 cultivars and strains of Pinus parviflora used for bonsai.

In Japan there are "charts" listing famous sumo wrestlers which gave forth to similar identification charts for Satsuki azaleas and even Japanese five-needle pines. True, Kokonone and Zuisho were and probably are the most commonly trained cultivars of Pinus parviflora in Japan. There even is a Zuisho Club which has yearly exhibits and demos by Mr. Kimura too.

There is even a book entitled "Yatsubusa Bonsai", published in Japanese. They even have a photo of a Yatsubusa Cryptomeria bonsai I created and displayed in a Japanese saikei exhibition in 1972.

So, there are well over 100 named cultivars of Pinus parviflora which originated in Japan and are (or were) popular for bonsai training.

I thought you would have known this Russell, guess you were wat too far out in the boonies at the Kanuma Shizen Bonsai Koen....

Bill

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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:15 pm

I'm REALLY glad you saw this Bill!! As a matter of fact, I was going to pm you about it because I knew you'd have a lot to add. I forgot to mention you as a source (at least in N. America) for selections of maples and pines. Do you still have those? You used to have tons of them.

Anyway, your comments are most interesting. I don't ever remember anyone showing a five-needle pine at the Park, or seeing one at a show, and someone saying "that's a so-and-so pine", unless like I mentioned before, they were referring to geographical race. Maples, yes. Satsuki, of course, but NEVER a pine! All I can think is that it was because most of the pines I was around were yamadori material. Maybe I really was too far out in the boonies!

Russell Coker
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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:34 am

Julian Adams, Central Virginia Bonsai Society, is also well experienced in pines. He is actively propogating Zushio. I have heard other bonsai growers consider him one of the best pine growers in the USA.
Best,
Todd

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Re: Pinus parviflora varieties

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