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I Purchased Two Vanderwolf Pines At An Auction Recently And…

Patrick Asked

I purchased two Vanderwolf pines at an auction recently and I planted them in a triangular formation on the border of my property. Problem is, the trees are pretty much bare on the bottom 1/3. No needles, probably due to the fact of how they were stored at the nursery. Is there any hope or will they behave like most other pines and be barren on the bottom 1/3 of the tree? I am open to putting other plants around the trees to hide this if necessary. Do you have any recommendations?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Patrick: Vanderwolf’s Pyramid is a cultivar of Pinus flexilis , commonly known as a Limber ine. This evergreen is a slow grower reaching 20-25 feet tall and 10-15 feet wide at maturity. The foliage is bluish-green with twisted needles. These pines will perform best when planted in a space where they will receive at least six hours of sunlight each day. They are adaptable to soil conditions but prefer moist, well-drained sites. As with most evergreens, once they have lost their foliage they typically do not put on any new growth to replace what has already fallen. Make sure the pines are not being over-watered and avoid fertilizing for the first year. If you want something to plant at the base, keep in mind the mature width of the evergreens and plant accordingly. Hopefully the pines will be fine and they will not lose any more of their foliage. It is normal for them to drop some of their inner foliage this time of year, but if you start noticing more die back of the lower foliage there may be something other than transplant shock going on. I assume you would want something evergreen to use as a planting around the pines so here are some suggestions: Nandina, potentially a dwarf variety such as ‘Gulf Stream’; Gold Mop Chamaecyparis would be a nice color contrast; and inkberry holly or boxwoods would also work.

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