Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Italian Stone Pine, Umbrella Pine, Parasol Pine, Pignolia Nut Pine
Pinus pinea

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Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pinus (PY-nus) (Info)
Species: pinea (PY-nee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Pinus sativa

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

18 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Category:
Trees
Conifers

Height:
over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
Inconspicuous/none

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Foliage:
Evergreen

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 37 photos.
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Profile:

13 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive vanillabean60 On May 12, 2012, vanillabean60 from Staley, NC wrote:

I bought this cute little Italian Christmas tree for my Italian husband 4 years ago. After Christmas, we followed the planting instructions and planted it in the front yard where we had an empty spot. After planting it, I decided to do some research about this tree.

We really like this tree's growth. The new shoots are over 12 inches long and it is over 5 feet tall now. It was only 15 inches tall when I purchased it. We are amazed at the new growth. It has grown well in our area. We are in zone 8 in North Carolina, but the border of 7/8 is only a few miles away.

We are waiting for the time when the umbrella starts to form. We have not pruned this tree nor have had anything done to the tree except nature herself. So far (knock on wood - hehehe) we have had no problems with our tree.

I have tried to find this tree again in area farm and garden stores, but to no avail. I would like to purchase another, but do not like purchasing plant items through the mail. I will keep searching for the next several years. I may be back here soon to read over pruning instructions.

Positive azsusieq On Mar 23, 2011, azsusieq from Tucson, AZ wrote:

As a 5 inch "plant a real tree" Christmas gift, I watered this baby every day, repotted is several times. Finally put it in the Tucson alkaline soil and 9 years later it is 12 feet tall, requires little care and no water. Great tree.

azsusieq

Positive NorthSC On Jun 6, 2010, NorthSC from North, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Feb. 2014 UPDATE: I have about a couple dozen of these mostly in pots, but several ~ 2 footers (OA) are in the ground since November 2012. This 2013/14 winter being so cold (lots of chemtrails since mid 90s), one of them that is closest to the woods burned brown a lot, but still has some green on it. It got down to 12F this winter, so that's probably the case. All others have either one small branch brown or just slight frost bite here and there. Didn't realise they were zone 8B plants until now.

Regarding germination, they usually germinate around 50% (unless you buy your seeds from Banana Tree Inc. who's seeds are so old that their germination rate is between 0% and 20%), but bigger part of them die if they are being germinated in a community box and not individually. Individually germination rate much higher and death rate much lower. These dudes like to be planted in very deep pots, at least 12-14" deep or more.

They look a lot like a menora candle holder and like a fir tree rather than a pine tree. I suppose when they grow bigger they begin to look more like a pine.

Positive jimbodw07 On Mar 17, 2010, jimbodw07 from Pinon Hills, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

It thrives up here at 4,000ft (High Desert), but grows very slowly. New growth barley reached 6 inches. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful pine tree.

Positive dszari On Nov 9, 2009, dszari from Mechanicsville, VA wrote:

I collected a few seeds while in Rome two years ago but waited awhile to plant them. Out of 6 seeds I had two good plants which are now about 12 inches high. I started them indoors in a sunny window last fall and they grew quite fast. I transplanted them into large pots in the spring outside and they are really thriving here in Virginia. I was very happy to read all the positive comments on this site. In August while in Rome again, I collected quite a few more seeds and am encouraged now to plant them all.

Positive greenshan On Jul 16, 2009, greenshan from Tujunga, CA wrote:

We obtained this pant as a christmass tree in 2001 and planted it after the holidays. Our area has, for southern CA, some pretty extreme weather. We sit at just under 2000 feet elevation at the base of a 4,500 foot mountain. We are HOT HOT HOT in the summer (many days at or above 100 degrees), and rather chilly in the winter (gain for CA) several nights at or below freezing. In addtion we get screaming Santa Anna winds (50-90 mph) a few times a year. Finally, our soil is very poor, lost of gravel and granite stones. None the less this tree has thrived with essentially no care. it is now approx. 30 feet tall and appears very healthy. Highly reccomended.

Positive Agaveguy On May 20, 2009, Agaveguy from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Probably the best pine for central Texas. Highly tolerant of strongly alkaline soils. Very drought tolerant. No known disease or serious pest problems. Very slow growing.

Positive muslinapron On Mar 17, 2009, muslinapron from Huntington Beach, CA wrote:

My Italian Stone Pine is on an upstairs balcony in a pot that is about 14 inches. It is my second one. Both have done well. At one time the directions said to trim off the "candles". Not sure what time of year this is done? Any tips on that subject? I live about 2 miles from the ocean(breezy and foggy at times in Fall and Winter) and this plant probably gets about 3-4 hours of bright sun per day(Summer). It sounds like these grow most anywhere.

Neutral famartin On Aug 25, 2007, famartin from Trenton, NJ wrote:

My brother got this plant as a little Christmas tree over 10 years ago. Unsure of its hardiness, decided to give it a go and plant it outside anyway (Zone 7a, Ewing NJ). While it tends to suffer significant foliage damage when temperatures fall below 15F, the plant has not only grown but thrived (the stems are apparently hardy to significantly colder temperatures... at least 0F). If not for pruning, it would likely be 15-20 feet tall by now (pruning due to proximity to the house has kept it to about 5 feet tall after it started out about 1 foot tall). Have seen a larger specimen (~12 feet tall) in the neighborhood, fully exposed to the elements, and apparently surviving well despite the cold winters. Aside from the browning foliage by winter's end, not a bad choice.

Neutral hansche On Jun 27, 2006, hansche from Martinez, CA wrote:

After 5 years in my home, I just learned this morning what I thought was a Monterey Pine in my back yard is actually a Stone Pine. An arborist came to give me a quote to remove a broken branch which he said was a very common occurance for this tree. When temperatures get very hot, (plus we had record rains this year) the tree absorbs alot of water and the branches become too heavy to support their own weight and rip themselves off. Not completely mind you, just enough to hang precariously and need to be professionally removed.

My Pinus pinea is probably 70+ years old and aprox 80 feet tall with an umbrella span of 70 feet and trunk diameter of 6 feet. It is a beautiful tree and I love the shade and the sound of the branches when they sway in the wind but the reason I rated it neutral is that it is a BIG fat mess! Between raining buckets of pollen for a month in April and a million needles dropping 5 months out of the year, when the cones ripen (I just learned every 36 months) the tree becomes party central for every squirrel within a mile of my house. They bite off (and drop) all of the petals of the cones to get to the pine nuts and then bomb my yard with the partially eaten cones. I am constantly sweeping my deck and raking needles out of my nicely landscaped yard not to mention dodging dropping cones.

And, if the mess was not enough, the arborist also highly recommended that I thin the umbrella of my mature tree every 4-5 years to the tune of $3,500. So if you are considering planting a Stone Pine and plan to be in your home for a long, long time, be forewarned ;-)

Positive gooley On May 2, 2006, gooley from Hawthorne, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

It can take a lot of water but it does not like wet feet. I bought a couple dozen of these on sale after Christmas about two and a half years ago, and planted most of them out in two long rows, spaced about ten feet apart; those I didn't plant died in their pots within a few months. Then came the hurricanes, some health problems for me, and a lot of neglect... Yet most of them have pulled through and are growing. There are a lot of dead "candles" that have been replaced by side shoots, but the trees on the better-drained spots (I have a clay-sand mix of soil here, high in phosphate but no other nutrient), despite competition from wild blackberry, saltbush, and various other weeds, have been growing slowly and steadily. I'm going to try to take better care of them, keep down the competition, fertilize a bit. Pine nuts are unlikely unless they survive me by decades: I'm told they don't bear when young.

Positive vossner On Dec 21, 2005, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I also bought them around Christmas. Have four planted in full sun, at our property in east Texas, zone 8a. Very drought tolerant. Relatively slow grower, but also low maintenance.

Positive Mogheller On Jan 10, 2005, Mogheller from Berlin
Germany wrote:

Hi! A few years ago I did holidays in northern Italy and brought back a little p.pinea with my car and planted it out in the garden. A bit slow growing here, but its hardy enough without protection in a safer place in the garden (near house).

In the last years I saw lots of this p.pinea here. Mostly they are not easy to detect cause the normal pinus-trees here (p.sylvestris) look nearly the same in the first 10-15 years. But, I saw dozens of even elder trees and down to -10/-15 C it's no problem with them.

Positive Pameladragon On Mar 10, 2004, Pameladragon from Appomattox, VA wrote:

We got our stone pine at Christmas from a grocery store. It was in a gallon container and very healthy. After planting it has continued to grow and increase in width. It is now over 5' tall and is just beginning to show signs of spring growth.

The candles are usually about 9 - 12" long and the needles are fairly long too. It sheds about a third of its needles every year.

So far no cones, but hope springs eternal. This tree is fertilized regularly with evergreen tree stakes and gets a lot of water.

It would seem that the Italian stone pine is capable of growing a bit out of its normal range once it gets established. We are in 7b but sometimes get exceptionally cold weather for a few days every winter.

Neutral kennedyh On Apr 2, 2003, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

We planted two of these trees in our garden in Australia nearly ten years ago, and they have thrived and are now 6 to 8 metres tall. We have been looking forward to harvesting our own pine-nuts, and this year one tree grew two large cones. We have an unusual problem, however. Yellow-tailed black cockatoos are common in this area and have learned over the years to feed on the cones of the Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) which is grown extensively in plantations in this area.

Last Sunday, I noticed the debris of two large pine cones on the ground beside the tree and sure enough, the cockatoos had got there before us. They not only tore apart the cones very thoroughly to extract the seeds, but each seed has a hard shell around the kernel and each of these was neatly split open and the kernel extracted.

My wife and I searched through the remnants and did find four seeds still intact. We split these and ate two pine kernels each and they were lovely, but with the beautiful cockatoos frequenting the garden, we may be somewhat limited in the pine-nut harvest that we can make!

Positive Lavanda On Mar 19, 2003, Lavanda from Mcallen, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is commonly sold in stores during December to be used as a Christmas gift plant, and when sold are usually about 18" tall.

When I observed my neighbor plant these out in her front yard about 5 years ago, I scoffed, because usually some holiday plant purchased will not do that well when transplanted. Five years later it is now about 15 feet tall. It is quite healthy and growing happily with NO care.

Native to southern Europe and Turkey. Very drought tolerant, and a very ornamental outdoors tree. Its rate of growth is moderate, reaching 10-15 in height at five years of age, and eventually can reach to 40 feet tall. Deep root system, and its principal pests are the aphid and bark aphid.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,
Glendale, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Sun City, Arizona
Tortolita, Arizona
Huntington Beach, California
La Jolla, California
Martinez, California
Pinon Hills, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
Temecula, California
Tujunga, California
Yucca Valley, California
Atlantis, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Hawthorne, Florida
Mcdonough, Georgia
Las Vegas, Nevada
Brick Township, New Jersey
Trenton, New Jersey
Lovington, New Mexico
Asheville, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Staley, North Carolina
North, South Carolina
Carrollton, Texas
Medina, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas
White Settlement, Texas
Appomattox, Virginia
Mechanicsville, Virginia



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