Pinus flexilis
Common Name Limber Pine
Latin Name Pinus flexilis
Family Pinaceae
Sunset zones / USDA zones A1-A3, 1-11, 14-21 / 4-7
Type / Form Tree / Large
Native Habitat Dry slopes of mountains of California. from 5,000 to 8,000 feet
Soil Dry to moist, decomposed granite, sand, clay loam, limestone, low to some organic content, well drained
Water Once to twice per month depending on soil in hot weather
Exposure Full sun
Height X Width To 30 feet X 20 feet
Protective Mechanism None
Leaves Evergreen needles, 2 1/2 to 4 inches long, fascicles of 5, dark green and rigid with lengthwise rows of stomatal bloom. Remain on tree for 5 to 6 years.
Flowers Monoecious; male cones are small and reddish; female cones are bright reddish-purple. Moderate sized woody cone (3 to 6 inches long) with a short stalk. Imbricate scales are thick, blunt, slightly reflexed, and unarmed. Cones turn from green to brown as they ripen and scales open to release their seeds (unlike whitebark pine). Seeds are large and usually wingless.
Bark / Roots Initially thin, smooth and gray-white; later it darkens to brown or black with deep fissures and square plates. Stout but very flexible (can be tied into knots), silvery-white to gray, droop with age, but tips often turn up.
Maintenance Low
Propagation
IIt is best to sow the seed in individual pots in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible otherwise in late winter. A short stratification of 6 weeks at 4c can improve the germination of stored seed. Plant seedlings out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and protect them for their first winter or two. Plants have a very sparse root system and the sooner they are planted into their permanent positions the better they will grow. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm. We actually plant them out when they are about 5 - 10cm tall. So long as they are given a very good weed-excluding mulch they establish very well. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. Cuttings. This method only works when taken from very young trees less than 10 years old. Use single leaf fascicles with the base of the short shoot. Disbudding the shoots some weeks before taking the cuttings can help. Cuttings are normally slow to grow away.
Pests and diseases White pine blister rust, susceptible to numerous other fungal diseases. It can be heavily infected or killed by limber pine dwarf-mistletoe (Arceuthobium cyanocarpum), and is susceptible to infestation by mountain pine beetles, cone beetles, coneworms, and budworms
Landscpe uses Erosion control, low maintenance, background
Garden Suitability Thornless, Songbird, Fragrant, Mountain, Ethnobotanical
Ornamental Value Long dark blue/green needles
Nature Value Nuts eaten by squirrels, birds, bears
Native American Uses Nuts eaten raw or baked, used in basketry
Links  
    Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8L8BWbEKHA
    Images and data http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/p/pinfle/pinfle1.html
    Images and data http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/pinfle/all.html
    Images and data http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/pinus_flexilis.html
    Images and data http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PIFL2
    Images and data http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/81163/
    Images and data http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pinus+flexilis
    Images and data http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limber_Pine
    Images and data http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/trees/handbook/th-3-163.pdf
    Images and data http://www.nrmsc.usgs.gov/research/limber.htm
    Images and data http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/Volume_1/pinus/flexilis.htm
    Images and data http://www.conifers.org/pi/pin/flexilis.htm
    Images and data http://www.cirrusimage.com/tree_limber_pine.htm
    Images and data http://www.cnr.vt.edu/DENDRO/DENDROLOGY/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=227
    Images and data http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=6514
    Distribution map http://nearctica.com/trees/conifer/pinus/Pflex.htm
    Distribution map http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=233500936
    Distribution map http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PIFL2
    Nursery, images and data http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/pinus-flexilis
    Nursery Oak Hills Nursery, 13874 Ranchero Road, Oak Hills, 92345, 760-947-6261
Note: Moderate pollinator
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