Pinus cultivars

Hey guys,

Does anyone have any experience with which cultivars of Pinus Densiflora (Japanese Red Pine) and Mugo Pine make the best raw material for bonsai?

Many thanks!!



Chris beatiful bonsai can be made and have been made of both species. Your question is difficult yo answer. what you mean by “best”? What specific quality or features do you desire?

Thanks for reply Coltranem,

Agreed pretty much anything can be made into beautiful bonsai. However, certain characteristics of particular cultivars makes them ‘ideal’ as subjects. I suppose in terms of pines I would be looking for:

  1. Short needles
  2. Tight foliage
  3. Vigorous growth
  4. Amenability to wiring and moderate/heavy pruning
  5. Tolerant and productive in temperate climates with mod-heavy rainfall
  6. General ‘happiness’ in the bonsai container

There are obviously dozens of different cultivars of each pine and Mugo’s in particular are very accessible and affordable as nursery stock. However I have heard that some dwarf cultivars don’t lend themselves well to bonsai. Similarly I have found a number of nurseries in the UK (where I’m based) that sell a number of varieties of Japanese White Pine.

Whenever you buy a JWP from a bonsai dealer there’s no mention of which particular cultivar it is so I was wondering if anyone knew of any particular Mugo and JWP cultivars that lent themselves well to bonsai.



I am not well versed in all the Mugo cultivars but I do believe Mugo’s like water more than most pines.

For Mugo pines, the best cultivar on my opinion is the « pinus uncinata ». Short needles, very generous backbudding…

Hi Chris, try Pinus Sylvestris Beuvronensis which is a shrub form of the Scots Pine. It is a dwarf, slowi (ish) growing variety - though not slow enough to lose interest. It has bluish - green needles which are about half the length of a normal scots pine. It is (like a normal scots pine) quite adaptable to life as a bonsai. In the UK it is often planted in gardens and is readily available at garden centres.

Hey Michel, that does look like a lovely cultivar!!! And i’ve found a nursery in the UK that has lots of them!! :smiley:

Hi Keith, thanks for the tip mate!! i will go hunting!!

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