Pinus

About Pinus parviflora ‘Netsuke’: This Japanese White Pine cultivar is a tiny specimen grown from a seed produced by ‘Kinpo’.

Tiny Japanese white pine cultivar named 'Netsuke'
Pinus parviflora ‘Netsuke’, a tiny new conifer cultivar

This tiny 6 year old Japanese white pine tree, ‘Netsuke’, is a new cultivar of Pinus parviflora that originated from a ‘Kinpo’ seed. Unlike its popular parent, ‘Netsuke’ is a tiny globose bun with less than 1 inch annual growth. ‘Netsuke’ needles are 1/2 to 1 inch in length and have beautiful hues of blue and white. ‘Netsuke’ is a befitting name for this cute little cultivar since it gives homage to the spirit of the craft.

Pinus parviflora 'Netsuke' new graft 2022
Pinus parviflora ‘Netsuke’ 2022 graft starting to push!

‘Netsuke’ is our second Pinus parviflora cultivar. Our first Japanese White Pine cultivar was a witches broom found at the Yakima Arboretum, which we named ‘Ooh La La’!

Pinus

About Pinus banksiana ‘Ray’s Random Point’:

Pinus banksiana 'Ray's Random Point' new jack pine cultivar
Pinus banksiana ‘Ray’s Random Point’

Our Michigan neighbors, Tom & Brenda Ray, owned a lovely property, with an irregular waterfront, with beautiful Sandy coves, and granite outcroppings jutting out into the bay. Thus they named their property “Ray’s Random Point”. 

Brenda Ray, our good friend and neighbor
Brenda Ray, our dear neighbor

Tom and Brenda lived a long happy life together until the very end when they passed away within 3 days of each other, in early February 2018, both in their mid 80’s. It just so happens that there was a Jack pine on Ray’s Random Point which produced an interesting irregularly growing broom to match their wonderful property! What a perfect name for the new cultivar Pinus banksiana ‘Ray’s Random Point’! We had collected scions from ‘Ray’s Random Point’ that year and we were actually grafting these when we heard of their passing!

Pinus

About Pinus resinosa ‘Packerland’: This beautiful green and yellow variegated red pine was discovered along a country road north of Green Bay! It was found among a row of Pinus resinosa that appeared to have been planted for a windbreak. We returned on Superbowl Sunday to grab a few scions, along with cuttings of Pinus sylvestris ‘Platinum Ridge’ and Picea glauca ‘Tillie’.

Variegated Red Pine,'Packerland'
‘Packerland’

GO PACKERS!

Variegated Pinus resinosa 'Packerland'. GO PACKERS!
Pinus resinosa ‘Packerland’ with nice variegated cones!

This variegated Pinus resinosa tree also produces beautiful variegated cones! We have a few successful grafts in Michigan that are starting to show their color!

Immature Pinus resinosa 'Packerland' new graft cultivar
Baby Packer Backer!

Pinus

Beautiful blue Western white pine new cultivar 'Mini Monti'
Pinus monticola ‘Mini Monti’ new cultivar

About Pinus monticola ‘Mini Monti’: This beautiful blue Western White Pine cultivar, above, is almost 5 years old, as of November 2020, and currently measures 8 inches in height by 10 inches wide.

Western White pine broom, Pinus monticola 'Mini Monti'
Pinus monticola broom, ‘Mini Monti’

This Pinus monticola broom was discovered in the eastern Cascade Mountain range of Washington. The conifer broom photo above is from August 2015. A few branches from the lower part of this dense broom had died, and the brown discoloration revealed it’s location deep in the forest against the green background! We were able to rent a snowmobile in the winter of 2016 and collected scions for many new conifer cultivars, including ‘Monti’s Gold’, during that snowmobile trip.

First cone, first growing season, Pinus monticola 'Mini Monti' new cultivar
Pinus monticola ‘Mini Monti’ displaying it’s first cone!

Pinus monticola ‘Mini Monti’ scions were grafted in February 2016, and, much to our surprise, the newly grafted cultivar actually produced small cones the same year, in June 2016!

Many mini 'Mini Monti' cones!
Spring push with many mini ‘Mini Monti’ cones!

Pinus

Pinus monticola 'Monti's Gold' Western white pine, variegated golden branch.
Pinus monticola ‘Monti’s Gold’ with beautiful golden variegation

Pinus monticola ‘Monti’s Gold’ is a beautiful new cultivar propagated from a Western White Pine tree with golden variegation throughout the entire tree. The tree was discovered at dusk in the eastern Cascade mountain range. We were heading home from a hiking expedition driving back on an old dirt road and spotted a bright flash of yellow in the distance within the forest. Earlier in the day, Cheryl had discovered a beautiful golden variegated Abies grandis (‘Grand Prize’). Mike was determined to find a better specimen as we are both super competitive. He slammed on his brakes and we ran up the hill through the woods with our flashlight. We had spotted the bright yellow top of a fully variegated Pinus monticola tree! We were able access the tree in January with a snowmobile. It was easy to obtain scions near the top of the 20 foot tree since the top was bent over from the heavy snow. Nearly all of the grafted scions pushed! The ‘Monti’s Gold’ grafts are continuing the yellow variegation.

Heavy snow pulling down the top of the Pinus monticola golden variegated tree
Pinus monticola ‘Monti’s Gold’ conveniently pulled down by the snow load to harvest scions
Pinus monticola ‘Monti’s Gold’ beautiful new cultivar, spring push.
Pinus monticola ‘Monti’s Gold’ grafted scion pushing.
Pinus monticola ‘Monti’s Gold’ beautiful new variegated cultivar
Pinus monticola ‘Monti’s Gold’ grafted cultivar is keeping it’s golden variegation.
A close up of Pinus monticola ‘Monti’s Gold’ new cultivar with golden variegation'
Pinus monticola ‘Monti’s Gold’ branch on this variegated Western white pine tree.
The western white pine cultivar 'Montii's Gold' pushes golden yellow and keeps it's color.
Spring push, Pinus monticola ‘Monti’s Gold’

Pinus

Jack pine broom, new cultivar 'Jackpot'
Pinus banksiana ‘Jackpot’, spring 2022

Pinus banksiana ‘Jackpot’ is a new cultivar propagated from a compact Jack pine broom that was discovered while snowmobiling in a Jack pine forest behind a casino in Marquette County, Michigan, not far from the shores of Lake Superior. Marquette County is an ideal place to grow Pinus banksiana because of the climate and soil conditions. The broom suffered some damage from a previous cold winter with prolonged sub-zero temperatures. Several of the other Jack pine brooms we had discovered actually died from the extreme winter conditions and were no longer viable by harvest time. The “jackpot” bonus for this new Pinus banksiana cultivar is that it also makes cones!

Jack pine broom 'Jackpot' in a Pinus banksiana tree in upper Michigan.
Pinus banksiana ‘Jackpot’ broom with some prior winter damage.

Pinus

About Pinus strobus ‘Gitche Gumee’, a columnar white pine broom, one of our favorite discoveries! While hiking the beautiful North Country Trail just outside of Marquette, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we spotted a very dense columnar broom on a white pine high on a sandy knoll. This Pinus strobus broom, named from the classic poem by Longfellow, is located along the shores of Gitche Gumee (Lake Superior) next to the “Gitche Gumee” campground! The Ojibwe translation of “Gitche Gumee” loosely means “Big Sea”, referring to Lake Superior. Our friend, Brandon, in Marquette, Michigan, loves to climb trees, and he uses a method where he does not have to use spikes. This adventure to reach and harvest ‘Gitche Gumee’ branches was one of his more challenging Midwest climbs. Near the top of the tree, the broom gets battered by direct winds right off of Lake Superior. Parts of the broom looked freeze-dried from the subzero temperatures in the winter. The winds in this area can be fierce, reaching sustained speeds over 50 miles per hour! Some of the scions looked pretty shabby, but the grafts all pushed beautifully, with a nice blue-green color. And the new Pinus strobus ‘Gitche Gumee’ cultivars are keeping the unique upright columnar growth habit of the parent broom. A bonus attribute is that the new cultivars are producing paired miniature cones. We shared scions with Jason Hupp at Western Evergreen tree nursery, who also successfully grafted numerous scions. Another interesting white pine broom we found along the shores of Lake Superior was Pinus strobus ‘Nokomis’, also part of Davison Gitche Gumee collection.

White pine 'Gitche Gumee' broom in tree
Pinus strobus ‘Gitche Gumee’
Brandon enjoying climbing white pine tree to retrieve broom scions
Love it!
Newly harvested Pinus strobus white pine 'Gitche Gumee' branch
A branch of the dense columnar broom, ‘Gitche Gumee’
Nice looking new cultivar of Pinus strobus 'Gitche Gumee'
Pinus strobus ‘Gitche Gumee’ nice blue-green coloration, & strong upright candle growth!
Pinus strobus 'Gitche Gumee' with a frosty coat for Christmas!
Natural flocking just in time for Christmas!

Pinus

Pinus contorta ‘Hexe Fingers’ (“Witch fingers”) is a new cultivar that was grown from a seed obtained from a Pinus contorta witch’s broom cone that was found in the wild, up in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest. The broom itself was in poor health so we only retrieved the cones to obtain the seeds. We chose this lodgepole pine seedling because it has an interesting miniature growth pattern and witch’s finger-like buds from late summer until it pushes the following spring! It is a very nice looking cultivar that is taking on a natural bonsai like habit!

Lodgepole pine "Witch" fingers reaching for a bug for dinner.
‘Hexe Fingers’ grabbing a bug for dinner! Yum!
Numerous clusters of "Witch" finger buds on cultivar Pinus contorta 'Hexe Fingers'.
Pinus contorta ‘Hexe Fingers’ cultivar with numerous clusters of “witch fingers”!
Pinus contorta 'Hexe Fingers' spring push with natural bonsai form.
Pinus contorta ‘Hexe Fingers’, a natural bonsai habit with a nice spring push
Pinus contorta 'Hexe Fingers' new growth
Pinus contorta ‘Hexe Fingers’ new growth

Pinus

About Pinus parviflora ‘Ooh La La’! This Japanese white pine broom was discovered on a Pinus parviflora ‘Glauca’ at the Yakima Arboretum in Yakima Washington.

Japanese white pine broom
Pinus parviflora ‘Ooh La La’ broom growing on a mature ‘Glauca’ specimen.

The cultivar from this broom was named such because our Pacific Northwest gardening TV celebrity Ciscoe Morris says “Oh, La La!” whenever he is excited about a plant! He was visiting the Yakima Arboretum to give a presentation, and we wanted to present him with a tree specimen of this unusual broom cultivar Pinus parviflora ‘Ooh La La’!!!!

The scions from this Japanese white pine broom graft well, and the plants grow vigorously, with lots of cones! Sometimes the branches form tufts of tight growth. Candle pruning is suggested for a more compact specimen. This unusual broom cultivar is available for sale in several countries in Europe, and at the Conifer Kingdom tree nursery in Silverton, Oregon.

Pinus

About Pinus resinosa ‘Knee Knocker’: This fluffy broom was knee high on a young red pine tree, a real “knee-knocker”, discovered near Marquette, Michigan. This cultivar is part of the Davisons’ Gitche Gumee Collection of the Lake Superior region. The broom grafts nicely and the lush dark green long needles of the grafted specimens almost have a tropical texture, but hardy to zone 3, as noted by Sam Pratt of the Conifer Kingdom/Rare Tree Nursery. Pinus resinosa ‘Knee Knocker’ is in the conifer collections of the Green Bay Botanical Garden in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the Oregon Garden Arboretum in Silverton.

Red pine broom, 'Knee Knocker'
Red pine broom, Pinus resinosa ‘Knee Knocker’
Pinus resinosa 'Knee Knocker' specimen with healthy new buds!
Pinus resinosa ‘Knee Knocker’ specimen with healthy new buds!