Pines With the Shortest Needles

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#1
In my search of a pine tree I am wondering what species of pine that has the shortest needles, and what pine species that has really large ones that should be avoided.

I have heard good things about the japanese black and white pine but I think asking here would give me better results.

Thanks for any answers!
 
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#4
There are some Pinus sylvestris cultivars with extremely short needles like ''Jeremy'' and ''Saxatilis''. Scots Pine is very cold hardy but I don't know about Scandinavia..
Pinus sylvestris is growing naturally in all of Sweden but the ones that I have come across have pretty long needles.
 

Adair M

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#6
In my search of a pine tree I am wondering what species of pine that has the shortest needles, and what pine species that has really large ones that should be avoided.

I have heard good things about the japanese black and white pine but I think asking here would give me better results.

Thanks for any answers!
Most pines are suitable for bonsai. Some are not. And some are better than others. And your location is important, as some pines prefer warmer climates and some prefer cooler ones.

The most responsive pine for bonsai is the Japanese Black Pine. With the proper application of bonsai techniques, it's possible to control needle length and internode length. The needles are naturally 4 to 5 inches long. Most of my JBP have needles in the 1 inch range. I have one tree where they were only 1/4 inch! That's too short! But the point is, once you know how, you can control them.

Japanese White Pines naturally have shorter needles. But they are far less vigorous, and needle length is not controllable. Some cultivars have shorter needles than others.

There are many others that are suitable: Japanese Red Pine, Scots, Mugo, Shore, Ponderosa, Austrian Black Pine, and I'm sure many others.

But, your location is very important! It says you are in Scandinavia. I'm thinking that Japanese Black Pines would not do well there as they are not as cold hardy as something like a Mugo or Scots pine. JWP like cooler climates, too, but beware! They're often grafted onto JBP stock, which lowers their winter hardiness.
 
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#7
Most pines are suitable for bonsai. Some are not. And some are better than others. And your location is important, as some pines prefer warmer climates and some prefer cooler ones.

The most responsive pine for bonsai is the Japanese Black Pine. With the proper application of bonsai techniques, it's possible to control needle length and internode length. The needles are naturally 4 to 5 inches long. Most of my JBP have needles in the 1 inch range. I have one tree where they were only 1/4 inch! That's too short! But the point is, once you know how, you can control them.

Japanese White Pines naturally have shorter needles. But they are far less vigorous, and needle length is not controllable. Some cultivars have shorter needles than others.

There are many others that are suitable: Japanese Red Pine, Scots, Mugo, Shore, Ponderosa, Austrian Black Pine, and I'm sure many others.

But, your location is very important! It says you are in Scandinavia. I'm thinking that Japanese Black Pines would not do well there as they are not as cold hardy as something like a Mugo or Scots pine. JWP like cooler climates, too, but beware! They're often grafted onto JBP stock, which lowers their winter hardiness.
Great response, I will be careful about the JWP, and see what I'll be able to find!
 

petegreg

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#8
Pinus banksiana. Last week I could see some collected scots and mugos with extremely short needles. And there' re some dwarf cultivars of JWP, mugo and scot pines in the garden centres.
 
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#11
The best for your climate would be the Scots Pine. The needles reduce significantly under bonsai cultivation. Sometime you only have to let them become root bound and the needles can become an inch or less. Scots make great bonsai and are fairly easy to deal with. I repot mine in the summer, in fact I just got done doing a bunch of them just this last week. If you insist on repotting in the Spring according to the books you have to be careful with the roots. They don't seem to like root work this time of year. It is because of this they have garnered a reputation of being difficult to repot.
 
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#12
Yes. You will need to look at importing from Holland or Germany I think. (Just material not bonsai of course)
Not sure why this would be the case - I know that people collect Scots pines / Pinus sylvestris in Sweden.

Tobias - if you are Swedish, this article that shows collected pines might be useful - I can't read it, but I guess you can http://littletreesfromsweden.blogspot.co.uk/p/yamadori-in-swedish.html

Also, as reassurance about the needle length, here are two small Scots pines I collected last year. The long needles are last year's growth, from when the trees were growing wild. The short ones are this year's. I didn't do anything deliberate to reduce the needle size.

 
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#17
Spruce are nice but they are an entirely different ball game and somewhat more difficult.

They need substantially more water and less direct sun if it gets hot.