Pinus strobus 'Torulosa' / Torulosa white pine

Pinus strobus 'Torulosa' is a fast-growing tree form of Eastern white point with moderately contorted branches and conspicuously twisted Blue green needles. Young plants are somewhat irregular in growth habit, but eventually grows similar to species. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 12 to 15 feet (4 - 5 m) tall and annual growth rate of 12 to 18 inches (30 - 45 cm).

This cultivar is fairly old in the nursery trade. Although its origin is uncertain, one of it's first mentions is in the Hillier Nurseries catalog in 1978, making the name potentially illegitimate. Given that, it's likely to have originated somewhere in Europe.

Pinus strobus 'Torulosa' This picture was taken during the Conifer Society tour of the Dawes Arboretum in 2004.
Photo by Ken Church
Pinus strobus 'Torulosa' foliage This close up picture of 'Torulosa' foliage was taken at the Dawes Arboretum during the Conifer Society tour in 2004.
Photo by Ken Church
Pinus strobus 'Torulosa' This photo was taken at Bickelhaupt Arboretum located in Clinton, IA. March of 2004. (Close up of Needles)
Photo by Dax Herbst
Pinus strobus 'Torulosa' growing in the National Arboretum, Washington, DC, USA.
Photo by Dax Herbst



I have a question about the Pinus strobus 'Torulosa'. I read that after about 25 years it will be 25 feet tall and about 6 to 8 feet wide. That's the maximum that I would need it to be for the space we would like to plant. I assume that the tree will continue to grow bigger than what we need it to be after 25 years? I read that removing candles and pruning can help keep it to size. How realistic is that? Should we just find a different tree for the space? Thanks!

Maxwell Cohn

Hello Jamie ... candle pruning involves working with the top few inches of the tree, at least 2-3x per year. Unless you have a 30-foot-tall cherry picker or some sort of scaffolding system, I don't see a way for you to physically candle-prune a 25-foot-tall tree. Are you seeing something differently?