Content Detail

Red pine is a large, native, long-lived evergreen tree of dry habitats. The handsome, tall, straight trunk and beautiful red bark add to its beauty. Cold hardy to zone 2. Unfortunately red pine has fallen out of favor as an ornamental landscape plant and is no longer recommended because of its susceptibility to insect and disease problems. 

  • Family (English) Pine
  • Family (botanic) Pinaceae
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Evergreen (foliage year-round)
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 2, Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois)
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, Sandy soil, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Dry sites
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late winter, early spring, mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Irregular, Oval, Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size & Form: 

Red pine is a large evergreen tree reaching 50 to 80 feet high with varying width. Older trees develop an oval habit with lateral branches that start relatively low to the ground.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to the northeastern United States, from Pennsylvania to Canada and west into parts of Michigan.

Bark color and texture: 

The immature bark is orange-red and scaly, while the mature bark is reddish-brown in color with large, flat, irregularly shaped plates.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

Long, 5 to 6 inch needles grow in pairs, twisted and serrated.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Male and female flowers on same tree in separate structures (monoecious) have no ornamental value.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

Cones are small, 2 to 3 inches long, light brown, stalkless, and typically found in pairs or singular.

Plant care:

Red pine prefers a dry, loose, sandy soil with a low pH and full sun. These trees are extremely cold tolerant.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

The red pine is susceptible to sweeping winds and salt. Susceptible to many insect and disease problems and not recommended as a landscape plant.


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