In addition to small compact fir trees, many gardeners plant majestic pine trees on the plots. Very popular among owners of private houses and cottages is Banks. The plant is unpretentious and highly frost-resistant. Also, Banks pine is often used in landscape design.
This coniferous tree has many names: Labrador, Canadian, dapper, princess pine and Hudson Bay pine. In nature, forest beauty is found in the eastern regions of North America. The evergreen conifer got its name in honor of England naturalist Joseph Banks (head of Kew Gardens).
This variety belongs to tall breeds, and its life expectancy is simply amazing - pine Banks is able to please its beauty for 100-300 years.
The tree grows up to 20 meters, and its thickness is about 30 cm. Some specimens reach a height of more than 27 meters.
The distinctive features of the Banks variety include the following characteristics.
- The plant has a branched crown of a rounded shape. The needles are short enough, curved. The color of the needles transforms over time: young needles change their yellowish tint to beautiful bright green.
- The flowering period of the variety falls at the end of spring. Curved side cones appear on the branches of the plant. After ripening, they adorn the tree for several more years.
- Banks is resistant to low temperatures, and its crown does not deform under the weight of snow.
- The bark of a tree is reddish brown, covered with deep cracks.
- Up to 20 years, the tree grows intensively, then the growth of pine significantly slows down.
- Visually, the young plant resembles a beautiful fluffy shrub.
In addition, Banks pine has drought tolerance, which allows it to grow in regions where hot weather prevails. The variety does not require regular pruning and tolerates transplantation.
This conifer has subspecies that differ in appearance and characteristics. Most often, dwarf hybrids of the Banks variety are used in landscape design. Popular varieties of Labrador pine are presented below.
- Uncle Fogy. Dwarf variety, reaches 2 meters in length. It has a weeping crown and a curved trunk that leans to the ground. Branches with beautiful needles of green almost lie on the soil. The original appearance of the variety attracts gardeners around the world.
- Banska Stiavnica. The variety is characterized by slow growth, the height reaches 1-1.5 meters. It is characterized by a dense, dense crown of conical shape. The variety is known for its amazing light green color of needles. The needles are quite dense and slightly twisted.
- Arktis. Dwarf pine has a loose fluffy crown, needles - a grayish tint. The length of the plant is about 3 meters. Graceful branches are directed in different directions.
- Chippewa. A miniature evergreen tree has small needles of light green color. This variety grows quite slowly and adds only 2-3 cm per year. It differs in a flat crown.
All of these varieties are widely used in landscape design. However, their “ancestor”, Banks pine, is not inferior to them in popularity. The majestic beauty is planted as a solitary composition. She is also good in group plantings, for example, in a hedge. Banks goes well with other conifers or deciduous plants. In addition to a spectacular appearance, this variety is known for its amazing, fresh aroma.
The optimal time for planting coniferous evergreens falls in the spring (early March - mid-May). At this time, the earth begins to "move away" from winter. Buying Banks pine seedlings is best in proven nurseries. This variety prefers peat, loamy and sandy soils.
For a pine, dig a hole 1-1.5 meters deep, and cover the bottom with a layer of drainage. Before planting, the plant is carefully removed from the container with an earthen lump without damaging the root system, and carefully placed in the hole. It is important to know that a seedling during planting does not eliminate the earthen coma, which is a kind of protection for the delicate root system.
Next, the plant is covered with a mixture of sand and soil and fertilizer. In this case, the root part of the trunk should remain at the same level with the soil surface.
As for group planting, the distance between the seedlings is at least 3 meters.
Experienced gardeners do not recommend replanting a green beauty growing in the wild on a plot. In this case, it is highly likely that the tree will not take root and die after a short time.
Despite the unpretentiousness, this plant needs some control. Caring for the Banks pine involves the following steps.
A young tree needs constant soil moisture. It is watered 2-3 times a month. In the summer, this procedure should be carried out more often. Moistened soil retains heat and prevents the root system from drying out.
Do not forget about mulching and loosening the soil. It will also help maintain moisture in the soil.
A few years after planting, the tree needs top dressing. In spring, a young tree is fertilized with mineral substances. An adult pine tree itself creates a coniferous “veil” around the trunk that contains the organic elements necessary for the conifer.
First of all, young trees need shelter. This will help protect the plant from sticking to snow and sunburn. Suitable bags made of cotton, light fabric. Plastic bags are not recommended, as they create a greenhouse effect, which leads to the development of fungal diseases.
As for trimming, it is used exclusively for decorative purposes. Shorten and prune branches in early spring. This variety propagates by seeds that grow without human intervention. Inapparent in appearance, small seeds turn into a mighty majestic coniferous tree of unsurpassed beauty over time.
For more information about Banks pine, see below.