British Columbia: White pine blister rust

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by tritonx, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. tritonx

    tritonx Member

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    Oh no-o. My beautiful Vanderwulf pine appears to be stricken with white pine blister rust. I've looked it up and found out, too late, that the life cycle requires a host, gooseberry or currant. Unknowing, I planted the tree in a corner of my garden between two flowering currants. As far as I can see the tree is doomed. It has been in my garden for only about 4 years, but had grown from a slightly spindly 5' tree to a fully flushed out 15' beauty. I suppose I am going to have to pay someone to cut it down and remove the roots, but there's still the issue of replacement with something that will not be affected by the rust carrying currants nearby. Sounds like a pine is out of the question. Does anyone have a suggestion for a fast growing rust resistant everygreen that can take its place? I'm so sad to be losing this tree.
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Sadly, yes it is white pine blister rust, and it has already reached the trunk - if you'd spotted it earlier when it was just on the branch, pruning the branch off might have saved the tree (until the next infection, anyway).

    It is only some pines that are susceptible, specifically the North American white pines. Other pines, both 'non-white' from N America, and white pines from Europe & Asia, resist it. If you want a pine that is similar in appearance, try Macedonian Pine (Pinus peuce) - this southeast European white pine is very resistant to blister rust. Or alternatively Himalayan White Pine (Pinus wallichiana), which is faster-growing and has longer needles, though slightly less elegant crown shape.
     
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  3. tritonx

    tritonx Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look them up and see how tall they grow. I might also go for a cypress if there are any that don't shoot up to ridiculous heights. My neighbourhood has some restrictions for height. My Vanderwulf currently sits in a corner and provides a screen from the street, so I need something bushy and quick growing.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    What's your height restriction? Likely that 'Vanderwolf' would have breached it eventually, as it can reach around 25 m tall; so will Macedonian Pine (25-30 m) and Himalayan White Pine (to 35 m). You might want to consider Japanese White Pine Pinus parviflora (slower-growing, but rarely over 15-20 m) instead, or (if you can find it) Single-leaf Pinyon Pinus monophylla (15 m, but again, slow-growing).

    Cypresses - there's several that don't get too tall. The smallest is probably MacNab Cypress Cupressus macnabiana, rarely over 5-10 m.
     

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