Pinecone on pine treeThe pine (pinus) section in the Conifers has more than forty different pine species, varieties, and cultivars, represented by hundreds of specimens. Many of these species were wild-collected from countries around the world: China, Korea, Norway, and Russia, to name a few. There are also wild-collected plants from Arizona, Illinois, Nebraska, New Jersey, and North Carolina.
The stars of the show in this collection are the two Tanyosho pines (Pinus densiflora 'Umbraculifera') located on the left side of the Conifer Walk. These two trees have done incredibly well at this site, developing a beautiful umbrella-like shape. Note how this multi-trunked form is very different from the typical growth of pine trees. The green needles make a great visual contrast to the flaky red bark of these two specimens.
Also to the left of the trail is the dense-columnar form and long needles of Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra). Another favorite is the very unusually shaped Weeping eastern white pine (Pinus strobus 'Pendula'). Also, look for the magestic Himalayan white pine (Pinus wallichiana). Started from seed in 1926, this tree is one of the most striking, known for its drooping branches that reach all the way to the ground, soft feathery foliage, and long resinous cones.
Finally, look for the Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata). While this tree may not catch your eye immediately, it definitely deserves your attention. Bristlecone pines hold the record for being the longest lived trees. The oldest species called Pinus longaeva was dated at 4,789 years old in 1957. In 2007, it is 4,839 years old and still growing!