I live in a typical suburban lot (slightly over a 1/4 acre lot) in suburban chicagoland and want to plant a couple pine trees, primarily for nut production. Any recommendations on smaller (25' or smaller) or dwarf species?
The two I was looking at were dwarf siberian pine (pinus pumila) and dwarf grafted korean pine (Pinus koraiensis). Any thoughts on these or other dwarf pines for nuts?
Both the P. koraiensis and P. pumila are known for their slow growth.
I would think that the Korean variety would be better for pine nut harvesting:
The Siberian has +/- 10,000 seeds per pound, while the Korean has +/- 800 seeds per pound.
One would provide you with true nuts, whereas the other would be more like a 'nut meal' in texture.
St. Lawrence Nursery suggests adding humus from other pine trees around the base to help with the growth rate.
Korean pines are typically a full sized forest tree. I wonder if a dwarf horticultural variety of the species would produce normal seeds. Limber pine, P. flexilis is slow growing smaller tree with seeds larger than P. pumila.
I have planted several different varieties of fruit trees in the yard and want to get some tree protein growing also. I will have to do my research on the Limber pine. I was hoping to find some that would bear nuts in around 5 years, which I know is a lot to hope for in nut trees. Any recommendations on other smaller pine trees with decent/good nut production?
As John Polk says, pine trees for nuts are best planted for ones' children or grandchildren on a continuously held family property. They grow very slowly. I have a korean nut pine and it started off as about a six inch seedling, now, ten years later, it's about two feet tall. I'll be dead before I eat them , but it being slow growing, does add a nice bit of diversity to the fruits, vegies and herbs in my yard.
I remember some small trees of Lacebark Pine (Pinus bungeana) growing on the campus of Michigan State University that were already producing cones with nuts and were perhaps 8-10 feet tall. This is a very attractive hardy pine with flaking bark like that of a sycamore.
Yes, I think a more effective strategy for most people who live in areas with reasonable numbers of pine trees is to go looking for some mature trees in your neighborhood, parks, etc, and find when they have nuts and gather them, unless it really is for your children, or you are 25 and staying on your property until you die.
I must say this is disheartening. I purchased 2 Korean Pines based on the this description from the grower: "Silveray Korean Stone Pine can start producing cones/pine nuts when five feet tall. In ten years the tree should be eight feet tall and four feet wide. At 25 years height should be thirty feet tall and ten to fifteen feet wide. It takes two different Korean pines to produce nuts. Plant in full sun in zones 4-8. This five needle pine has silver,blue and green colored needles at the same time. Silveray has year round interest. A fairly compact "soft" foliage evergreen. Space @ 15' circle." it says further that they were grafted on a white pine seedling. The further I read on Korean Pine it appears they can grow 100+ft. If they truly take 25 yrs to produce and grow 100ft tall I think I'm going to change my order and get more hazelnuts. The only reason I purchased anyway was due the abundance of garlic mustard nearby. And pesto sounded like a obvious decision using the two.