Over the years we have lost quite a few of our Pine Trees. When we moved in here 11 years ago we counted out 100 pine trees. Then the Hurricanes of 2003-2004 took out a fair number followed by a nuisance pine beetle that bores holes into the trees and then the tree sickens and dies. Unfortunately this leaves tree stumps all over the yard which take forever to rot away and pose a real hazard when we are riding the mower.
While I am out and about weeding I am always coming across tiny pine seedlings that are invariably growing too close to the house. So over a number of years I have scooped the little guys out and started growing them in pots.
It took me years to figure out: (1) Out of the whole garden for some bizarre reason they will only grow in pots in this partially shaded spot, where they share space with large birds of paradise (2) They do not like to be watered regularly (3) No fertilizer (4) I have to be sure to incorporate into their pot plenty of the original soil they were found growing in (5) Remove the weeds growing in their pot, but damage the tap root and they're done for (6) They die every time I try to move them from a small pot to a bigger one (7) I can however transplant them safely to their new, permanent growing space when they are approximately 5 inches high.
The top photo is a healthy transplant - about 14" high and a year old now. The bottom photo is about 6" high and just recently transplanted from its pot. They thrive with the pine mulch around them. It's much the same as if they were growing in a hardwood forest.
To hide the old stumps left behind, I have found that if I dig out enough of the rotting stump, I can wiggle the new transplant right in there. Their strong tap root will go through the wood left behind by the old tree and they really take off then.
It will take them a few more years to get to this height (below).
But eventually - give or take 10-15 years - we will have this to look forward to.......