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Pine Tree Pinus

Growing Pine Tree: Tips at a Glance

Pine Trees: A Field Guide. Pine trees are distinct from fir and spruce, though they are all members of the Pinaceae family, better known as conifer.

  • Type Coniferous evergreen
  • Lifespan 100-200 years
  • USDA Zones 2-8
  • Light Sun or shade
  • Crown Pyramidal or spreading
  • Location Sandy soil
  • Design Tip Casts light shade
  • Other Uses Windbreak
  • Peak Season Autumn pinecones

Pine Trees: A Field Guide

Pine trees are distinct from fir and spruce, though they are all members of the Pinaceae family, better known as conifers.

There are more than a hundred varieties of the evergreen, resinous pine trees. Included in this family group is the hard-living bristlecone pine, with a reputation for extreme longevity (around 5,000 years), in high altitude and aridity. Geriatric specimens battle on at the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, in eastern California. In gardens, they cast a light shade and look good as part of a collection.

Lookalike fir and spruce trees do have some key differences that will help you identify them. To determine whether you’re looking at a pine tree or one of its cousins, examine the needle-shaped leaves. If they are attached to a branch in clusters of two or more, it’s a pine tree. (Fir and spruce needles are attached singly at their bases.) Fir needles are flat and spruce needles have four distinct edges; to make the ID, roll a needle between your fingers; fir needles won’t roll.

Planting, Care & Design of Pine Trees

More About Pine Trees

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