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Pinus wallichiana

Pinus wallichiana
Pinus wallichiana

Today's photographs and entry are courtesy of Douglas Justice, the garden's Curator of Collections. – Daniel

This pine is a favourite of mine, being both exuberant in growth and delicate in overall effect. Himalayan pine produces long, relatively soft needles in fascicles of five on long, shoots that retain their smooth silvery sheen for many years. See the Wikipedia entry and the page at conifers.org for more information. The blue-green of its needles, the shape of its cones and the regular, whorled branching is somewhat typical of white-pines (compare with Pinus strobus, Pinus monticola and Pinus flexilis), but its crown is broad, at least in the cultivated material I’ve seen. According to Keith Rushforth (Conifers, Christopher Helm, London, 1987), nearly all of the soft pines (Section Strobus) “do not like exposure.” In the David C. Lam Asian Garden, the Pinus wallichiana pictured is sheltered on a southeast-facing hillside with a variety of other exotics under mature Abies grandis (grand fir).

VanDusen Botanical Garden (Vancouver’s other botanical garden) also has a collection of Pinus wallichiana in its Sino-Himalayan Garden, and like ours, the trees are of unknown provenance. Sometime in 1981, I was working at Massot Nurseries, a large wholesaler in Richmond, BC (just south of Vancouver). One of my duties as a shipper was alternate truck driver, and one day I had occasion to deliver a load of these Himalayan pines (now in #5 pots) to the still developing VanDusen Garden. The plants had originally been grown at Hybrid Nurseries, a forest seedling grower, whose owner at the time, Bruce Morton, was interested in disseminating exotic conifers around the Vancouver area. At VanDusen, I met a kindred spirit in Gerald Gibbens, the gardener for the Sino-Himalayan Garden at VanDusen. Gerry had recently returned from an internship at Windsor Great Park and was still high on the experience, which he explained in some detail as we unloaded the pines. Ten years later, Gerry made it possible for me to intern at Windsor—a seminal experience for me. Windsor was not only a way to ease myself out of the nursery industry, but it was my starting point on the road to a career in public horticulture. What a great tree!


wow! that's a beautiful pine!! Thanks for sharing your love of plants and of course for providing this website.
holiday cheers

A specimen in Wright Park, Tacoma, WA was 99' (30.1 m) tall with an average crown spread of 35' (10.6 m) in 1990. (Van Pelt, CHAMPION TREES OF WASHINGTON STATE). I have seen this tree and thought its tall, comparatively narrow outline must be due to shading from other trees around it.

Pinus wallichiana - Z8 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
Pinus wallichiana - Z6-9 - A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk
Pinus py-nus; ancient classical name for a pine tree. wallichiana wo-lik-ee-ah-na. After Nathaniel Wallich (1785-1854]. Danish surgeon and botanist with the East India Co. Plant Names Simplified, Johnson and Smith & Dictionary of Plant Names, Coombes

For anyone that is wondering, some white pines will tolerate exposure (and do so very well), generally the shorter-needled species, notably Pp. albicaulis, cembra, flexilis, parviflora, peuce, pumila, sibirica.

Indeed such species may be native to just about the most extreme high altitude sites in the region. For instance, in the North Cascades of Washington P. albicaulis can be seen silhouetted against the sky on otherwise mostly treeless subalpine ridges where winter conditions must be quite severe - clearly enjoying a lack of competition by being able to grow on sites too harsh for other species occurring in stands close by.

merry christmas

I first spotted a Himalayan pine in a yard in Philadelphia, and was determined to have one. Finally, in the eighties, I was able to obtain two very small ones from a nursery. They are now quite tall, and have survived some really tough winters here in Southeastern Bucks County Pennsylvania. Their beautiful soft texture makes them my favorite conifer.


This is wonderful to read and see such great Photographs. Especially on Christmas Day. I thank you for all the wonderful things I have been able to learn about and see.
Happy New Year,
Thank you,

i am an bsc student .....by looking at this picture i got a brief idea about pinus that will definitly help me in future ...it is gr8

I have fallen in love with this tree ever since I saw one at Frank Lloyd Wright's home in Oak Park, Illinois, close to Chicago. Then while walking back to the train from the houses he had built/designed. I saw more at the local park. They were beautiful and I have never seen one of these type of pines in Idaho or elsewhere.

I found out it is called an Eastern White Pine.
I figured this tree should be able to grow in Idaho, zone 6, but less humidity than other states. I have since seen them planted in landscaping near shopping strip malls and actually have seen them selling at Walmart and Lowe's.

I would love to have one, but can't decide where to plant it on our 1 acre property. Which part is covered with a 990 sq ft shop and then we have an irrigation pond 100ft x 25 ft so these areas area are taken up besides the house and driveways.

So thank you for all this information, also in my lists of wants is the weeping eastern white pine which is grafted onto an eastern white pine root stock.

Would anyone have any advise for keeping one of these pruned in a pot?

I have a garden apartment with a car park below and I want to dig down and 'bury' the pot so that it looks natural. I can't let it get much bigger than the 4 feet it already is.

Prague, CZ

We are writing a Field Guide for Afghanistan's schools and universities. We would very much like to use the Pinus wallichiana picture there, and ask for permission. Thanks in advance.

Prof Dr SWBreckle
Dept Ecology
Wasserfuhr 24-26
D-33619 Bielefeld

You will have to email Douglas. There is a link to his email address in the contact section on this page.

i would like to grow the Pinus wallichiana from a seedling or liner but am having difficulty locating a supplier. Any help would be appreciated, looking for around 250-500 to get started.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.3928
Fax: 604.822.2016 Email: garden.info@ubc.ca

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