Italian Stone Pines

Does anyone have any experience with this tree? I have one about 2 ft. tall purchased at an after Christmas sale in January, very much alive. Snipped off some branch tips about 3 months ago and , sure enough, it is back budding on those branches,.

I can’t find any helpful information about its container culture, but would like to hear from someone with experience with it.


I’ve worked with them in the landscape but less so as bonsai - will be curious to see if someone has info to share!

Thanks, Jonas.

This an experiment as I’ve never had one live as long as this one. Not in a bonsai pot yet but well branched and very healthy in its nursery can.

I’ve pinched back some branch tips and new bright green growth is really breaking out. My plan is to leave it in the can until next Spring and move it to a gravel based soil in a bonsai pot then. Looking for all advice I can get!

Sounds good Frank. My understanding is that they can produce juvenile foliage when pruned heavily - maybe something to watch out for after cutback.

Hi Frank, I have had a leftover Christmas tree which is an Italian stone pine. It has been grown in a half wine barrel for several years now. I have decandled it like you would a japanese black pine and it did push a second set of mature candles - one year. The next time I did decandle there was nothing but juvenile foliage coming out everywhere, and it took 2 years before the tree began to have mature needles again.

There was an article in Bonsai Focus, I think, a couple years back, about stone pine. It was recommending cutting back every year and keeping only the juvenile type of foliage. That is not how most pines (or junipers even) are handled.

If the tree is very strong or in the ground you may get a second flush of mature growth, but not usually from a potted tree. I would treat this like a single flush pine. Good luck on your project.

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