White Pine seed growth cycles


(Xavier De Lapeyre) #1

Greetings all,
New member here, I live in tropical island Mauritius

I got a sprouted white pine from a friend (supposed to be white pine acquired from ebay but one can never be sure 100% if its a white pine ) in July 2014
From what I’ve read and heard online, white pines have only one growth per year, but my seedling has had new growth in Oct 2015 and now I’m seeing another growth with new candles formation early Jan 2015.

I’m just wondering if that is normal behaviour for a sapling?

Context :
Climate : Tropical, but where I live its mostly cold for our standards 16 deg celc. and more rainny than other places. It can get much hotter with 20~23 deg celc. or more.

I’ve placed the seeds outdoors but currently shielding from strong direct sun.

I just got another batch of seeds that just sprouted for X-mas.
4 big white pine seeds and 2 small white pine seeds.
Those are in collander and having the same treatement.

The big white pine seeds looks more healthy and strong / vigourous than the small seeds ones.

I’m just wondering if 3 growth in such a short amount of time is normal for the seedlings?
I know some trees have quick growth when sprouting then settle up with a slower growth later on.

Thanks in adv!


(Jonas Dupuich) #2

I don’t know that so much growth is normal for white pine, but considering where you live, it’s not surprising.

I’ve found that with black pines, seedlings typically experience one growth spurt per year, but favorable weather and lots of fertilizer can easily trigger a second flush. This year my sprouted black pine seeds grew continuously through about November, and it seems like they’re barely pausing for winter as the buds are already swelling again.

I’ll be curious to hear if anyone has similar experiences with white pine.


(Xavier De Lapeyre) #3

Thanks for your reply.
I’m still monitoring them ( one died with heat recently ) and now we are having a downpour with a pre-cyclonic weather approaching.
Crossing fingers for them to make it :smiley:


(Jean MAssumi Hara) #4

I live in a tropical country too…and tried to seedling some goyomatsu…
Well,the only thing I can tell you is:good luck!!
My seedlings (30 seeds) were good until 1 year old.After that:all dead.
I know some guys here in Brasil that insist to have goyomatsu,and that means a complicate logistic maintance,including cold chambers,and other things.I saw one of them and its a kind of sad…they dont live…they just survive…
The conclusion is cruel,but unfortunetelly its not a specie for tropical climate.
I´ll be following your posts…maybe we are doing something wrong here.
Best regards


(Xavier De Lapeyre) #5

Thanks for your feedback Massumi!
Very interesting, it kind of confirms what I had in mind.
I’m still giving it a try though and hoping for the best!

Here’s a post I made of it on my blog :

I’ll keep you guys posted on the evolution.


(Leo Schordje) #6

For what it is worth, Pinus parviflora - Goyo Matsu - Japanese White Pine - JWP is a pine of temperate mountain regions. It needs a 90 day or longer cold rest below 4 C (40 F) to be healthy and vigorous over the years. It may survive tropical & sub-tropical climates for a few years, but without refrigerated winter storage it is unlikely to survive long term. It survives cold very well, and when on its own roots can survive through out USDA zone 4 to USDA zone 7. Zones warmer than 7 one begins to have trouble with heat. Lack of cooling at nite is a stressor for JWP.

Pinus thunbergii, Japanese Black pine, is a sub-tropical pine, capable of thriving in warmer climates, as well as colder climates through USDA zone 6. It is only marginally hardy in northern north america, and needs winter protection in zones 5 and 4. This is a good choice for subtropical climates, especially if you are at some elevation and have a cooler season every year.

There are species of the white pine group that are subtropical and tropical. Most have long needles, making them difficult to use for bonsai. I would recommend locating seed of the species native to tropical areas of Mexico, and Viet Nam. One species I believe is worth trying in tropical montane areas would be Pinus leiophylla - it appears to have shorter needles than most. Needles appear to be around 4 inches, 10 cm in length, possibly shorter. This is no longer than larger growing varieties of JWP. It is listed as a Zone 9 subtropical, native to Oaxaca and Chihuahua, Mexico. Seed can be bought though seed companies like Sheffield Seed. You might consider P lieophylla if you are at elevation in the tropics.

I am not familiar with any of the tropical asian species of the white pine group, but with research I am sure there are other suitable species.


(Jean MAssumi Hara) #7

Hi LeoSchordje
Thank you for the precious information.One question:the pinus leiophylla is a one growth flush/year?


(Leo Schordje) #8

I am just learning myself, I will be planting out my first batch of P. leiophylla seed in May of 2015. so I don’t know yet. I would assume it is a single flush pine just like Japanese White Pine. All members of the Strobus group, which includes JWP and P. leiophylla should be single flush pines. I will observe my seedlings and report.

P. strobus is a single flush pine in my climate and my experience with my trees, but reports from a grower in a more mild climate, at least one or two cultivars of P. strobus can have 2 flushes of growth, per communication with Osoyoung.

So there could be variation between different seedlings in their growth characteristics. I will at least initially use JWP bud and needle techniques, until I have more experience.


(Jean MAssumi Hara) #9

Thanks a lot…I´ll try this specie next year…