In September 2012, I posted about Pinus contorta v. latifolia 'Chief Joseph' AKA Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine here . I'd seen them at a local nursery and at a few specialty sales. The chief is an expensive tree which I wouldn't have bought for myself but my sister and niece read my post and bought one for me. I've heard that it's pricey because it's difficult to propagate and grows very slowly. It was found in Eastern Oregon, needs extremely good drainage, and can be quite finicky about being moved, thus mine is still in a pot. Oh yeah, Chief Joseph needs full sun to color up nicely but if it gets too much sun, the needles will burn. Also, it can't stand anything growing on it. I let a vine crwl through the bottom branches of the one you see on the left of the picture and the needles turned brown and a couple of bottom branches died. Make no mistake, this pine is a prima donna in every sense of the world and wants you to know that! To learn more about the chief go here. Anyway, I've not yet killed my Chief Joseph but I'm wondering about this growth. Is this a bad thing or just something that happens to pines?
I know that Gold Coin has been exposed to the perfect amount of light to cause it to color so nicely. Plant sellers want to show plants at their best! We'll see what it will do over the course of a few years.
I should have found something deeply green to use as a background so that you could see that both plants are quite gold. Gold Coin is a much faster grower than the Chief and according to the person from whom I bought the tree, the needles won't burn in the full sun. I'm glad to have both of these lovely pines but I'm thinking that P. sylvestris 'Gold Coin' might just give you more gold for your buck. To learn more about Gold Coin, go here. Hey northern gardeners, this one is hardy to zone 3a!
Do you have experience growing either or both of these pines and if so, do you have a preference?