Pine evokes so many thoughts and feelings in us. Not only the scent, but also the cute cones and majestic appearance of this evergreen tree make us love it. Today we want to show you how to plant and care for pine. Read on to learn our care guide and growing tips.
Table of Contents
When to plant pine
For bare-root seedlings, planting during the dormant season (October through March) is recommended, although seedlings in containers can be planted year-round. Consult a forester to determine the best planting date for each region.
Site preparation includes physically removing vegetation that may compete with the new pines. For smaller sites, remove turf and weeds from a 1-meter diameter area around each newly planted tree . For larger plots, use a plow to create a 1.5 m wide planting strip where you place the rows of trees in the ground. Leaving vegetation between the rows helps prevent erosion.
Planting the seedlings
In well-drained sites, plant the root stalks 5 to 8 cm below the soil surface. An exception is longleaf pine, whose root collar should be planted level with or just below the soil surface. For poorly drained sites, plant the root collar 3 inches below the soil surface. For seedlings in a container, plant them deep enough to cover the entire container with soil.
Fill the planting hole well and make sure the roots are well connected to the soil. You can check this by gently pulling on the tips of the seedlings to see how well they are held in the hole.
Try to avoid areas of loose soil or organic material that accumulates near rotting stumps. Also make sure the bottom of the hole is closed. Regularly check the condition of the seedlings, the consistency of the soil and the depth of planting. Surround the new plants with soil.
Care instructions for evergreen plants
Pine trees are low-maintenance plants and can be used in your landscape as a privacy screen or windbreak for a patio or garden.
Watering the pine
Most pines are drought tolerant and require only a small amount of water to thrive. This means that in most climates, they are adequately supplied with water by the environment. Only in dry winters and extreme drought do you need to water mature trees. In these cases, you need to thoroughly wet the soil once a month to mimic rain and snow in winter.
In drought conditions, you should water about 3 to 8 inches once a week . Deep and infrequent watering promotes the growth of deeper roots. A simple way to prevent roots from becoming stressed is to lay a layer of mulch around the soil. The mulch helps the soil retain moisture. It also prevents weeds from sprouting and competing with the tree. Seedlings and saplings need to be watered more often.
Organic fertilization with compost tea
If you want to try something completely organic, this is where compost tea comes in. Brewed primarily with water and a packet of organically produced compost, it’s an excellent, nutrient-rich product for your pines. All you need to do is fill two large scoops of compost, put it in a bag and transfer the whole thing to a container.
Now add 4 to 6 parts water for each part of the compost and cover the container with a glass lid. Leave the compost in the water for at least a week and up to 10 days. Finally, remove the lid, add some more water. The liquid should have a tea-like appearance.
In what soil to plant pine
You should plant your pine in a well-drained, sandy soil where nutrients are readily available. They prefer dry soils that are slightly acidic. Some pines, such as loblolly pine and lodgepole pine, also thrive in moist areas, but they are rare.
Choose sites with full sunlight
You should plant pines in locations with full sunlight to reach their optimal growth potential. For this reason, they colonize areas that have been left open to receive maximum sunlight. While there are some species that thrive in partial sunlight, they are few and far between.
Should you prune pine trees
Pine trees are not made to be pruned into shape often and carelessly. For best results, never cut off more than ⅓ of a year’s fresh growth. Occasional crown thinning and cleanup is necessary to better ventilate the pine or to repair damage caused by a storm or high winds. These trees may develop excessively long growing points in their centers, and sometimes you will need to prune to prevent or repair structural defects. Fast-growing species develop growth only at the ends of their branches, and aggressive pruning can cause irreparable damage.
Care after planting
Proactive weed control during the first 3 or 4 growing seasons will increase seedling viability, survival and growth. Do this within 100 to 120 cm of each planting site. For smaller plantings, you can control weeds with mechanical equipment. You can also use mulch and weed barrier fabric.
What species are suitable for the garden
1. Japanese white pine
Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora) does well in areas where winter temperatures do not fall below -20 °C. The tree can reach a height of up to 24 m and a width of 12 m, so it needs a site where it has room to grow. Best suited for large, sunny rock gardens as a specimen tree.
2. mountain pine
Mountain pine (Pinus uncinata) is a striking eye-catcher in the landscape. It grows straight and upright, reaching heights of up to 15 meters and spans of 25 to 30 meters as a mature tree. Dwarf varieties are more compact and grow only 2.4 to 3 meters tall. Best used as single trees or in combination with shrubs of different species to create an attractive visual composition.
3. jeffrey pine ‘Joppi’
The compact version of Jeffrey pine ‘Joppi’ (Pinus jeffreyi ‘Joppi’) is well suited for sunny rock gardens , where it does not grow taller than 1.8 m at maturity. It has puffy foliage with needles that can grow up to 20 cm long. The tree has a rounded growth and does not need pruning. When grown in a container, it often grows up to 1.2 m tall and 1 m wide. Best suited for sunny rock gardens and container culture.
4. pine ‘Uncle Fogy’
Prized for its gnarled and weeping habit, ‘Uncle Fogy’ pine (Pinus banksiana) is a popular choice for adding visual interest to perennial borders and rock gardens. It only grows to about three feet tall, but can be grown up vertical posts to create a taller, bearing specimen. If left to its own devices, Uncle Fogy will spread in several directions, forming a combination of twisted, knotty stems and light to olive green leaf needles. Best suited for sunny rock gardens and perennial borders.
5. Silveray Korean Pine
Silveray Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) is a semi-evergreen pine that reaches up to 9 m tall and 3 m wide when mature. It has long, soft, silvery-gray needles that attract attention and set the tree apart from other pine species. Best suited as a focal point in a sunny garden.