Thursday, March 1, 2012

Winter Glow of the Chief Joseph Pine

Pinus contorta var. latifolia

'Chief Joseph'

This variety of the Lodgepole Pine is a coniferous, evergreen, dwarf tree with a compact tight shape bearing needles in bundles of two. Discovered by Doug Will in the Wallowa Mountains of Eastern Oregon, and named for the famous Nez Perce Indian leader Chief Joseph. Most of the year the needles are colored light green, but in the winter they morph into a spectacular, shocking squash gold! Grows best in full sun but will take part shade, growth rate is slow at about 2" to 4" a year. Full height is 8' to 12' and a 4' to 5' spread. The fact that it is an Oregon native is it classified as drought tolerant and works perfectly in a rock garden.

This was a wonderful birthday present I received last year from a gardening couple that I am lucky to have as neighbors, friends, and gardening cohorts of crime. I get to prune the pine this Spring, removing the large prominent dark green top to which the Chief Joseph has been grafted to. As you can see in the photograph the grafting tape is starting to peel away.

USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 9

1 comment:

  1. I'm so jealous! I almost bought one last year before realizing it would get too big eventually (even if slowly)...the price is what really killed the deal...$60 for a tiny sprout...yikes!