pruning advice for bhutan pine / pinus wallichiana

hi, i just bought a 2 foot bhutan pine in a pot. i'm a real novice with gardening and would just like to provide the best conditions i can to allow the tree to grow healthy, and keep it under control, both above and below ground. there seems to be very little information on this tree on the Internet. i have a place for it in a raised bed, which gets morning and mid-day sun and will drain well, it can be a windy section of the garden aswell. the garden is quite small so i will want to keep the tree quite small, not more than 4 or 5 feet anyway. would the roots become a problem over time? the garden is really small, 7x5 metres, with houses on either side. when is a good time to prune it? any tips to help it settle in to its new place are most welcome, is compost or manure a good idea? the climate in south-west ireland is mild and wet for two thirds of the year. rarely goes below freezing and rarely above 25 celsius.
thanks in advance tim.
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http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees - new/pinus_wallichiana.html
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David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
email: snipped-for-privacy@beyondgardening.com
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You have planted a tree that in its natural range grows to 50ft tall and 30ft wide. Keeping it at 4-5 feet is not very realistic. Obviously it will take a long time before it gets too large, but its easier to remove a 2 foot tree than it is a 30 foot one. Trees are an investment and should be treated so- do your research! You wouldnt invest your money in a stock you didnt know anything about would you?
Toad
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Tim_Mac wrote:

Your tree will eventually get to be 40 feet tall. Take it back and get your money back.
You might want to find out about the things you want to buy before you buy them.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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hi guys, thanks for the advice and David for the link. as i said, i'm no expert, but i would have thought you can prune anything to keep it at a certain size? or at least keeping it in a pot is a way to accomplish that. i did read one thing about pruning pine trees that when you cut a branch the stub will stay there forever, but that isn't necessarily so bad is it?
a friend of mine grew an oak tree from seed in a pot and 7 years later has a lovely miniature tree about 3 foot tall. it hardly grows at all now. also, i have a crimson queen japanese maple that is about 3 foot tall and wide in a pot that grows a few inches every year and appears to be a very healthy tree. it is supposed to grow to 10 feet. the butan pine is a beautiful specimen and i would still love to keep it in the garden, is it really such a bad idea?
i appreciate that many people on this group might cringe at the prospect of locking a tree up in a pot for its whole life, but it's one of the few options available to someone like me trying to add some life to a small suburban garden. i already have climbers on the walls and some nice shrubs, but a tree will really add some depth to the garden (as long as it can be contained!).
thanks again for any advice or suggestions. tim.
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Tim
What you're basically referring to is creating a bonsai. However, that is very difficult with pines, and the fact that you are essentially giving it unlimited root run (instead of placing it in bonsai soil in a pot) also makes your task more difficult. Frankly, I would suggest abandoning the idea. There are many fine dwarf cultivars of five-needle pines, most notably Pinus strobus 'nana' and hundereds of choices among Pinus parvifolia, the Japanese White Pine.
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David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
email: snipped-for-privacy@beyondgardening.com
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