Korean Pine- Zone 2
Characteristics of the tree
The Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) is a winterproof nut tree that grows well in acidic soils and thrives in cold climates (zone 2). Its nut, the pine nut, is often used in salads and to make pesto sauce.
The Korean pine will take 10-20 years to produce nuts. They are similar to those of the white pine, but much larger, about the size of a commercial pistachio nut. The harvest of the cones is easy, as they fall on the ground when they are ready. The more laborious job is to liberate the kernels and remove the nuts. You will need gloves and a lot of patience as the cones are very sticky! If you plan on harvesting this nut on a larger scale, it would be more efficient to mechanise the process. Every cone contains an average of 120 kernels.
Korean pine is native to eastern Asia and hardy to zone 2. It is self-fertile, but will benefit from cross pollination with any other Korean pine. The seedlings that you buy from us are on average 3 years old and 15cm in height. They are grown in natural conditions as they would in the forest, without the addition of chemical fertilizers. The Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) seedlings will generally grow slowly for the first 5 years, but then explode in growth, reaching 30 metres high when mature.
Wherever the white pine grows, the Korean pine will grow as well. A well drained, sandy, acidic, and even poor soil, will be perfect for it, although it is also tolerant to other soil types. Its native range extends to mountainous regions, which is likely due to its tolerance of poor soil and cold resistance. It is equally well adapted for a variety of settings, however, including urban plantations.
The parent trees of our seedlings have been growing for at least 100 years in Quebec, Canada.
Korean pine trees are naturally slow-growing for their first five or so years, after which they start to grow more quickly.
They can grow to impressive heights, reaching 30 metres or 90 feet at maturity, with a spread of 8 metres. However the tree will take a considerable number of years to reach its maximum height. In 20 years, as shown in this illustration, you can expect it to reach approximately 6 metres in height.
You should note that this illustration is meant only to give a general indication of what you can expect, and the growth of your tree might look somewhat different. The development of a tree depends on the soil type, irrigation, fertilisation and climatic conditions. What we show here is based on our observation of the growth of Korean pine in zone 4, in rather poor soil. In zone 2 it might be slower, while in richer soil, it could be faster.
The Korean pine is the only tree that we do not sell bare rooted: it comes in a small bag with earth. It’s important that you plant the seedling with the soil provided (but, obviously, without the bag). This soil has been inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi. This special fungi enables the Korean pine to absorb nutrients from the soil.
The young Korean pine flourishes in a semi-shaded area. It is VERY important to provide the tree shade for its first 2 years. Building a ‘shade shelter’ around the seedling with a snow fence is one method that works. If you do not protect your young tree from the sun, the bark of the trunk will burn and the tree will most probably die.
You can compare the size of the Korean Pine nut with commercialised pistachio and pine nuts. The pistachio used for the photo is a jumbo sized pistachio. The Korean pine nut is of the size of a regular pistachio nut.