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Korean pine cold hardiness

 
Denis Huel
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I planted a single Korean pine (P. koraiensis) last spring. The tree was purchased from Grimo's in Ontario.

I live in southern Saskatchewan approximately 60 miles north of the Montana border, a very cold dry area, Zone 2b/3a. I was not overly optimistic that the tree would survive but it appears to have come through a very cold winter (-40 C or F) in great shape, bright green, no winter browning, etc. Perhaps it will show some delayed reaction but I doubt it. I have some Ponderosa pines from the wrong seed source(western MT) and severe winter damage has been evident for a month now.

Now this is not my first attempt with Korean pine, I had planted 20 a decade ago but the trees were not of the best quality and 19 of them died before their first winter. The lone survivor did not survive the first winter. I did not consider this a true test of its potential and happily I tried again.

I am attempting to grow a fairly large quantity (5-6000) of Siberian pine (P. cembra sibirica) in 2014/2015 but would also attempt a larger quantity of Korean pines if I felt they were suitable. I don't, however, want to invest substantial time and money trying to growing something that won't grow here so I am extremely interested in hearing from others who have attempted to grow Korean pine in a cold, Zone 3b or colder climate. Am interested in both successes and failures as well as any details you can provide (site conditions, age, care, etc.).
 
Kevin Hiebert
Posts: 38
Location: Zone 3 SW Manitoba, Canada
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I'll definitely keep an eye on this thread!
I'm planning on planting some Korean Pine here in southern Manitoba (zone 3). I was looking at some from Mark Shepherd (along with a bunch of hazelnuts and a few chestnuts) that are rated to zone 3 but it's complicated getting them across the border. I might try to piggy-back with another large order heading north.

Are you looking at them for a food crop or timber?
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I have 2 sources for tree seeds, and one rates Pinus k. at Zone 3, while the other has it rated down to Zone 4.
I would try to give it some protection, at least for the first winter.

Following is some info (1st from JL Hudson, and 2nd from F.W. Schumacher - Trees & Shrubs.)

The Trees & Shrubs link has a lot of seed treatmentinfo.

PINUS k JLH.PNG
[Thumbnail for PINUS k  JLH.PNG]
PINUS k FWS.PNG
[Thumbnail for PINUS k  FWS.PNG]
 
Denis Huel
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Kevin

Timber is kind of far out for my area (south between MJ and SC), pines nuts probably are as well. I'm just kind of a tree nut. I was surprised that my Korean pine came through the winter looking so well. It obviously has not grown yet this year but the terminal bud cluster looks fine and healthy. It was covered by snow for much of the winter but at the time of the last and worst cold snap in the beginning of March snow cover was minimal over the top portion of the tree.

Korean pine seed is easily available through commercial channels. A concern is that with a tree that is likely marginally hardy, seed source can be critical. For example I am growing two sources of Ponderosa pine, one from western Montana which winter browns horribly here and another from the Black Hills which appears to be very well suited for my area. I suspect that all seed sold through the companies that deal with tree seed is sourced in China, exact local unknown. Far northern China or adjacent areas of Mongolia or Russia would likely be best. Would like to obtain a couple of lbs of seed from a good source.

As mentioned in my original post I will be trying to grow a larger amount of Siberian pine, the hardiness of which I am more confident of. Not exactly sure where I am going with all this but my plan is to plant 10-20 acres to nut pines, interplanting them with Siberian larch (which seem to grow well here) to provide initial shelter, perhaps removing the larch for firewood or whatever in 25-30 yrs. (If I am still around!). If the pines fail I will still have the larch. The larger seeds of the Korean pine compared to the Siberian pine is of interest to me.

The U. of Saskatchewan, Horticultural Dept. has a breeding population of hazelnuts that they distribute seedlings of (with conditions). I was too late this year and they were sold out. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or would like to cooperate on anything. Take care.
 
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