I am a Landscape Design student @ the NYBG and we need to design a roof garden.
I would like to put PINUS mugo ( good size) in tall planters. The building is 5 stories high in Brooklyn. Do you have comments on the resistance of that species in container or other idea beside Buxus? Physocarpus? Thank you
For that situation Pinus mugo should be fine, as long as it will get full sun, have decent drainage, and receive regular irrigation. I have certainly seen and used it in containers, and even though it can get large and wide over time the slower growth habit, compared to other pines, I find to be an attractive characteristic. The only concern I have is installing them at a "good size". If you really want to make sure that they take well I would not install very mature ones, but would go with younger specimens at first. As with other plants, especially in a challenging situation like a rooftop garden, I plant as young as I can get away with to make sure they have the best chance to acclimate quickly asnd successfully. Once you start bringing in mature pieces they can be so used to the light, temperature, and irrigation they were getting before that the new situation can throw them into some shock. Not to mention if you spend the money on mature plants and then deal with getting them to the space for them to then go into quick decline, no one will be happy, neither you or your client.
I would also recommend coming to the HSNY Library if you are still in the planning stages. A horticultural library with over 10,000 volumes open to the public I am sure we have some references that will be of assistance. The Library is open to the public from Monday to Friday, 10-6pm, and Katherine Powis, the full time librarian, is here Monday through Thursday.