A Shore Pine reworked-

This pine has been an enjoyable project for some years now. Shore pine is one of our Northwestern USA native conifers, tending to grow not far inland.

Last year we had a terrific hailstorm in June in my small neighborhood (the rest of the city was untouched), which dropped 1/2″ hail on my yard and stripped all the newly growing needles off many pines. The tree regrew buds, but as expected they did not open and grow new needles (like a black pine would). This spring the pine flushed with growth as normal, after being supported for two years with the same old needles.

So, a sigh of relief that this tree has regained its momentum. And yesterday we rewired it. That’s really what I meant to offer here…photos of the reworking…not the hailstorm story…


My apprentice Bobby Curttright adjusting wire on the Shore Pine. This image gives some idea of the scale of the tree for the next 15 photos…


Our front, after reworking. We shot a lot of details of the tree ‘in the round’, from many sides, to get a feel for the entire experience of the tree rather than one front. It’s a very interesting tree in its branching, which is the tree’s main attraction. The trunk is actually rather simple.


Moving to the right…turning counter-clockwise around the tree for the next four photos




Side view…with the long back branch. This design choice was to have a very dynamic front to back depth, which in photos sadly is rather lacking and doesn’t communicate…


This and the following photos are detail shots of the branching




Crown branch, that supplies all the shoots for the top of the tree, wired with a compact bend years ago





And our front again. Notice the cones here and there throughout the tree, I tend to leave them as they add a unique feeling to a pine. Come and visit…it’s definitely better in person.

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  1. Ron Scarborough says:

    Gorgeous from every angle!!!!! Love it!

  2. paul3636 says:

    Loved tree.
    There doesn’t seem to be much taper on the trunk from top to bottom. Is this normal for this type of pine???????
    Are there other pines that have limited taper??????

  3. thomdec says:

    Beautiful. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to see the tree while at The Artisans Cup next month.


  4. Bruce Kerr says:

    Way to go Bobby, you have developed into a fine artist. Proud of you. We need you to put on a one man show in Salem.

  5. Monique says:

    Gorgeous tree!
    I hope one day my Japanes white pine looks a bit like this, great example 🙂

    Kind regards from the Netherlands

  6. dencurrob says:

    good photo coverage…helpful to see crown approach…anything on Spaan’s Dwarf?

  7. dencurrob says:

    good coverage of a good tree…helpful to see crown approach…anything on Spaan’s Dwarf?

  8. mike says:

    I have purchased from the conservation society 10 shore pine Native trees. Right now they are about 1′ tall. Is this something that can be played with to turn into a bonsai or dwarf?

    • crataegus says:

      Yes, you can create a bonsai from a young shore pine seedling. They are moderately slow growers, however, just be aware it will take a while to train your tree. I’d recommend having some old bonsai and some young bonsai in any collection, so you get a sense of where you’re going with the young ones.

  9. Robert Gardner says:

    Great looking tree awesome work on it. I just purchased a Spaan’s dwarf has a little bit a good Trunk movement Will be interesting to work with in the next few years. Since I just brought it home would it be OK to start pruning a Little and maybe a small amount of wiring Or should I wait a while . Trunk is about two inches in diameter.
    Any comments good or bad will be helpful to me as this is my first spaan’s Dwarf.

    • crataegus says:

      Hi Robert,
      Best to wait until early fall to work on your spaan’s. Pruning/styling pines is normally done after the growing season has finished, but then you have a long time to work on them, though the winter if there’s a bit of protection for them afterwards. Such as a greenhouse if in a cold climate-

  10. Jay Nolen says:

    Hello Michael, I obtained a spaan’s at Brussel’s Rendezvous this year. Jennifer Price ran the workshop and aided in the initial styling. I’m looking for a resource to help me with the proper techiques to use on the candles. I’ve been told you can’t treat a spaan’s like a black pine. Any help or advise would be appreciated.
    Side note: We’ve met a couple of times, I have your book, and the wife and I have a couple of your pots.

    • crataegus says:

      Hi Jay, sorry for late reply this one slipped by me. I have little functional experience with spaan’s dwarf, though it looks delightful. I would say that your instinct is correct, as the full size Shore pine is not a tree that can be decandled. You can shorten strong shoots in the spring like any single flush pine, however.

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