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Pinus nigra

  • BOTANICAL NAME: Pinus nigra
  • PRONUNCIATION: (PI-nus   NI-gruh)
  • COMMON NAME: Austrian Pine
  • FAMILY: Pinaceae (Pine Family)
  • NATIVITY: Europe
  • GROWTH HABIT: Broadly conical when young, aging to attractive,
    flat-topped trees.
  • SIZE: 60’ to 80’ tall in cultivation, this plant will grow up to 120’ tall in ideal situations in its native habitat.
  • HARDINESS: Zone 5 to 7.
  • CULTURE: Full sun and moist, well-drained soils. Grows on poor, rocky soils in parts of its native range. This pine is tolerant of wind, alkaline soils, and urban conditions.
  • LANDSCAPE USE: Large specimen tree, or as a grove of trees in large areas such as parks.
  • FOLIAGE: Needles are 3” to 6” in length, arranged in bundles of two. Needles are stiff to the touch. Leaf sheath is about 1/2” long and persistent.
  • BUDS: Ovate to cylindrical, ½” to 1” long, gray-brown or whitish in color and somewhat resinous.
  • BARK: Mature bark is distinctive and attractive. Large, mature trees have fissured bark with broad, flat ridges that are light gray in color, contrasting with the dark brown, nearly black fissures.
  • CONE: Cones typically in groups of 2 to 4 and nearly sessile on the stem.  Cones are 2” to 4” long and yellow-brown to light brown in color, prickle often present.
  • PESTS:  Diplodia blight, which greatly reduces the effect use of this plant in the mid-Atlantic states.
  • CULTIVARS: There are several varieties due to its disjunct range in its native habitat. There is considerable discussion with regard to splitting this species into several new species.