Lacebark Pine (Pinus bungeana)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Lacebark Pine
Give a thumbs up Lace-Bark Pine

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 25 to 50 feet, to 75 feet
Plant Spread: 20 to 35 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Needled
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
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Comments:
Posted by jathton (Oklahoma City, OK) on Oct 29, 2019 8:22 PM

Alexander von Bunge, a botanist from St. Petersburg, was the first westerner to "discover" Lacebark Pines. He saw them growing in and around Peking in 1831. The specimens he saw were very old trees whose trunks had turned completely white. The tree was first introduced in the Western world by Robert Fortune in 1846. The tree was formally named in honor of von Bunge in 1897.

This tree has several attributes that make it appealing to a gardener or garden designer. It is often multi-stemmed, with ascendant branches, and a round-topped form. Its good looking yellow-green needles are carried in bundles of three and are usually evenly spaced over the crown. The bark is the true focal point of the tree. It exfoliates in irregular peels... revealing apple green and lighter yellow green patches in the normally brownish gray bark.

I remember a friend and I getting pretty excited when Iseli Nursery began offering Lacebark Pines in the 1990's. Until then it had been virtually impossible to find them in the trade. The only reason we knew about this pine was because there was a very large specimen of one growing on the northwest corner of 19th and N. Pennsylvania in Oklahoma City for years and years. The homeowner had no idea what it was and we spent a long time identifying it in those historic days before the internet came into play.
It was a beautiful specimen and I took real pleasure in seeing it each time I drove up that street. Then, one day, it was gone... to the ground. I was so shocked I stopped, banged on the door, and asked what had happened. The home had been sold and the new owners felt it blocked their view. I turned around and looked at their new view... of an intersection with stop lights. There is just no accounting for some taste.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 22, 2019 6:15 PM

This tree species comes from China. It has lustrous bright green needles in bundles of 3 about 2 to 4 inches long, stiff and sharp to the touch. The smooth bark is sort of like sycamore bark and is in patches of green, tan, gray, brown, and cream colors. The conical cone is about 2 to 3 inches long with a spine on each scale and is very prickly. It grows around 1 foot/year. It grows well in sandy or silt-clay loams or good quality clay soils, acid or slightly alkaline. I've only seen a few at arboretums, estates, campuses, and some professional landscapes, and one in a regular yard in northeast Illinois. It is an expensive plant and offered only by a few large, diverse nurseries.

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