Sand Pine

This native North American pine is usually seen as scrubby tree, capable of reaching 100 feet in height but more often seen 15 to 40 feet tall, with a slow growth rate (Fig. 1). The supple, two needles in a sheath, brilliant green evergreen leaves no more than three inches long, and the plant’s ability to thrive in almost any soil make Sand Pine a good choice for use as a Christmas tree, with proper shearing. The narrow 2 to 3.5-inch-long, spiny cones persist for quite a while on the tree, often becoming embedded in the wood of the twigs. The bark is a reddish brown, and the trunk is straight and long. The branches are twiggy. New growth will sprout on hard wood.

Grows well in a fertile sandy mixture. Use as much sterilized soil as possible. It is salt tolerant, and can be found in areas 20 – 30 feet above sea level. When collecting try to get as much of the soil as possible. If the soil falls off the roots, replace it immediately. Plastic bags may be used, so water may be added. Newly-potted bonsai should be protected from the wind and the sun in Florida for 3-4 weeks. When new growth starts, then the bonsai may be moved to morning sun. After two more weeks sand pines may be moved to full sun. When re potting use half sharp sand and half soil.