Pinus Flexilis - Root Solutions?

I have a shohin sized Limber pine that I collected last year, the problem is that there are not any fine roots near the trunk base. Needless to say it will never fit in a shohin sized pot as is. I know that grafting is the solution, but I’d like to know what approach you guys would suggest.

These are the possibilities I’ve thought of:

  1. Find p. Flexilis seedlings to graft at the base. This seems to me like it may be the best solution.

  2. Use another type of pine with similar bark. My concerns with this are that I don’t want to change the hardiness of the tree, and I don’t want to change the overall behavior of the tree. For example, I think JBP roots would cause the tree to grow faster, and they are not hardy in WY, not to mention that the bark would be vastly different.

  3. Use the trees own roots to graft closer to the trunk. – Is this even possible? I haven’t seen it done, but it seems like it could work…?

  4. Something else I’m not thinking of…?

What would you guys do?

Thanks, :smile:

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Here’s the tree in question, before collection.


Nice tree Dan! I think 1 and 2 would work well. I imagine option 2 would be fine. You could always try and collect seed to grow seedling for grafting stock, you might even be able to find seed on a website or young seedlings at a native nursery. I frequent a California native nursery called las pilitas that has Sierra Juniper, ponderosa, and several other CA native conifers in 1-2 yr old plants. Ill try and see if I can find anything else out.

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I would inarch graft using small limber seedlings–tedious but not hard. Obviously you would have to have the plant growing strongly first. It would be interesting to graft on a more vigorous yet hardy pine but I don’t know which would be best but I m sure there are many stronger than limber–considering the value of the plant and the four-five year project I suppose limber on limber is the best.

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If you have more than one long root I’d try ringing the bark, like an air layer on one of them. I’ve seen Boon do this successfully on a ponderosa root on a collected tree. After a couple years the tree had issued new roots at the point where the bark was removed.

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Thanks Eric. Unfortunately there is only one where I need roots. I did make a few small wounds during potting, and placed sphagnum moss around the base. I don’t know that it will work, but it’s worth a try.