edible pines

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Permaculture beginnner, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Permaculture beginnner

    Permaculture beginnner Member

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    I am looking to plant a screen along a road for a client who wants privacy and was thinking of using a pine that has edible good sized nuts. The property is located in Westchester NY and the location of the screen planting would be in partial shade. Any Pinus species suggestions?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Pinus koraiensis would be the best option, with Pinus cembra second choice (smaller nuts).

    Couple of points to bear in mind though:
    1. Pines tend not to keep low branches very well, once they get shaded by higher branches, they die off, leaving a bare lower trunk. They also need full sun to do well; in partial shade, growth will be thin and poor, and with no nut production.
    2. Nut pines are sensitive to salt. If the road the other side of the trees is salted in winter, and fairly close to where the trees are being planted, success won't be good.
    3. Even if the conditions are good (full sun, and not salted), don't expect a good crop of nuts for 30-40 years!
     
  3. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    That being said, and they are *very* valid points, Italian Stone Pine, Pinus pinea, is where the best 'pine nuts' come from.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    And that does well in California, too but the planting site is somebody else's place in New York.
     
  5. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Pinus siberica, pinus peuce, pinus armandii, pinus albicaulis are all worth researching. All produce good nuts (if varying size) faster than Pinus pinea: you might wait decades for nuts from a pinus pinea. The ones I've listed are hardy down to zone 4-5 depending on species, don't know if that suits your site in NY or not.
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Which species provides the best nuts is much disputed; as a general rule, people say that whatever grows locally produces the best (so Italians say Pinus pinea, Koreans say Pinus koraiensis, New Mexicans say Pinus edulis, etc.). The reason for this is primarily that storage conditions for pine nuts in trade are so poor that the nuts have usually gone rancid (so taste bad) by the time they reach distant destinations. I've never been able to buy germinable pine nuts from a shop sellling them for food. Freshly harvested and still germinable, they taste about equally good whatever species they are from.
    Yep. Pinus pinea isn't hardy there.
    Pinus peuce seeds are too small to be worth eating! The kernels after shelling are only about 4 or 5 mm long, and shelling would be very tedious.
    Actually, all the "nut" pines, regardless of taxonomic affinity, are pretty similar in age of first bearing. The first one or two cones from 10-15 years old, but no decent crops until 30-40 years.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    P. pinea here often cone comparatively young.
     
  8. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    I've got two P. pinea that have hardly done a thing in the last year and a half I've had them... :-(
     
  9. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Reviving a dead thread, I know, but I've been away...good to know P. Pinea cone young, as I've got several planted and thought I'd be waiting a while. I suppose the references I've read indicating a long wait were referring to a decent harvest, as Michael F. notes. Interesting about pinus peuce: at least one seedling supplier in Canada is touting the variety as a nut crop. Anyone have experience grafting a variety like pinus koraensis to a locally occurring variety (in my case, white pine) for a quicker harvest?
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yep. The first few cones while they're still quite young, but no large quantity until a lot older.
    Never tried it, but it should work, and bring forward cropping a few years. Pinus koraiensis would graft well on P. monticola (which I presume is the white pine you're referring to, tho' P. strobus would be equally suitable).
     
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Seeds in the shell. Pinus pinea (left), Pinus peuce (right). Scale in cm.

    Q.E.D.!!
     

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