Pine Conservation Club: Where Can I Grow a Wollemi Pine?
of the most commonly asked questions from Wollemi Pine Conservation
Club members is where people can grow a Wollemi Pine. Here is a
response from Kate Murray who is the Project Officer at the nursery
growing the Wollemi Pines in Australia.
are delighted with the versatility and hardiness of the Wollemi
Pine. Not only are they very beautiful and striking in appearance,
but we have found them easy to grow, drought hardy and pest and
disease resilient. We believe that the Wollemi Pine will grow in
a wide range of locations, from outdoors in the full sun to indoors
in air-conditioning, and in a wide range of climatic regions. The
Wollemi Pine will make an excellent plant for homes, gardens and
parks throughout the world.
already know that the Wollemi Pine will survive a range of temperatures
from -5 °C to 45 °C (23 °F to 113 °F) and we think
it could even be hardier than this. Not only has it survived through
ice ages and many millions of years, but Wollemi Pine relatives
such as the Monkey Puzzle, Hoop and Bunya Pines grow in climatic
conditions ranging from freezing to very warm and humid. We are
currently running trials that will test the Wollemi Pine in a range
of extreme climatic conditions.
native habitat for the Wollemi Pine is a sandstone canyon in a ferny,
warm temperate rainforest. The soil has poor structure and is very
shallow. The levels of nutrients are low, the soil is extremely
acidic and there are patches of highly saline soil. The light level
is very low, with less than 10% ambient light. As these conditions
would be inhospitable for most plant species, we believe that the
Wollemi Pine would be very tolerant of a wide range of growth conditions.
trials have shown that Wollemi Pines adapt well to growth in low
light environments (e.g. in a home or office) to high light (including
the full sun). The Wollemi Pine's root growth is strong, but not
so vigorous that plants will require frequent re-potting or will
be invasive in the garden. They can also be maintained in a container
almost indefinitely which is great news for those who do not have
the space to plant a Wollemi Pine in their garden. In optimal conditions,
the growth rate for the Pine is approximately 0.5 metres per year
for smaller sizes, and 1.5 metres per year for larger sizes.
Wollemi Pine responds well to fertiliser and can be pruned and shaped
at any time of the year to become bushier. They are strong plants
with flexible stems and leaves that are not easily damaged, so we
also expect them to be wind tolerant. Preliminary results indicate
that they are also relatively salt tolerant, and could be planted
by the ocean, just like other members of the family e.g. Norfolk
people mistakenly think the Wollemi Pine looks like a traditional
pine tree with needles. This is not the case. It is a beautiful
conifer with unusual dark green, soft frond-like foliage. The tree
produces three different types of foliage, depending on age and
position in the tree. In general, the narrow triangular leaves are
arranged in two opposite ranks. The new foliage is a fresh apple-green
colour and deceptively delicate looking. The older blue-green foliage
contrasts vividly with the new foliage, providing a structural and
textural backdrop to any environment.
Pines have an unusual and interesting growth habit that will make
growing your Wollemi a daily journey of discovery. For instance,
during colder weather, the Wollemi Pine enters a dormant mode in
which each of the growing buds develops an attractive pink waxy
coating. The bark is also unique and in the mature plants, it resembles
believe the best uses for the Wollemi Pine will be as a perfect
indoor and patio plant, unique gift and great feature tree for large
gardens and parks. We are planning to have a range of product available
from small pot plants that will be about 4-6 months old to large
trees that are up to 3m and 6-7 years old. The first release of
Wollemi Pines will be available from the end of 2005, so stay tuned
for more updates.
more frequently asked questions
the Wollemi Pine Conservation Club registers your interest
in purchasing a Wollemi Pine when they are released in 2005/6.