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.