Austrian Pine, Black Pine, European Black Pine
Pinus nigra

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pinus (PY-nus) (Info)
Species: nigra (NY-gruh) (Info)

Category:

Trees

Conifers

Height:

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Evergreen

Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

This plant is resistant to deer

Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:

4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

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

,

Flagstaff, Arizona

Prescott, Arizona

Brighton, Colorado

Chicago, Illinois

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Macy, Indiana

West Friendship, Maryland

Houghton, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Two Harbors, Minnesota

Piedmont, Missouri

Lincoln, Nebraska

Silver Springs, Nevada

Ringwood, New Jersey

Columbus, Ohio

Middletown, Ohio

Bend, Oregon

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

San Antonio, Texas

Orem, Utah

De Pere, Wisconsin

Menasha, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

6
positives
1
neutral
2
negatives
RatingContent
Negative

On Mar 26, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This has long been one of the most commonly planted ornamental trees here in eastern Massachusetts Z6a, especially in commercial plantings. (The rigid spiny needles that accumulate on the ground may be the main reason this tree isn't often planted around houses.) The standard references all praise it for its adaptability and its tolerance of urban conditions.

I see few specimens approaching maturity. I see many disfigured with many dead and dying branches. I don't know if the cause is one of the several needle and tip blights that afflict this species, or a nematode that Dirr mentions as an increasing problem, or perhaps some other emerging problem.

This may be an adequate ornamental for a short-term planting, but it rarely survives to maturity here.
<... read more

Positive

On Mar 25, 2015, nlafrance3 from Edmonton, AB (Zone 4a) wrote:

This pine grows extremely well in Edmonton, Ab, Canada. Biggest trees are probably nearing 70 feet tall but not many are any older then 60 years yet. It has been planted in groups all over the city in parks and off major roads. Very few people plant it in their yard though which is a shame. Scots Pine is the go to tree probably because of the bark.

This pine is hardy to at least zone 2. I have seen it growing great on acreages 2 hours north of Edmonton.

Neutral

On Jan 23, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a handsome coniferous tree. It is the most commonly planted pine from many nurseries in much of the Midwest where the soil is alkaline as northern and central Illinois. It is also commonly planted in the East. It tolerates pollution, salt, and heavy clay soil. Its very dark, thick, about 6" long needles are very stiff and are painful when poked by them. The bark becomes plated with tan areas among the gray- brown bark It grows about 1.5 ft/yr like most conifer trees. Trees often suffer some damage from Sphaeropsis Tip Blight and some die from it. I prefer the similar American native of Red Pine that has soft needles and prettier bark with some orange and pink areas among the gray bark. But the latter is not for alkaline and heavy clay soils or lots of salt and pollution.

Positive

On Dec 29, 2011, marktrot1 from Flagstaff, AZ wrote:

This is a great complementary pine in the high country of the southwest (Flagstaff). After a year or two of irrigation it needs no supplemental watering and has a similar green as the Ponderosa, but grows thicker with a more obvious central leader. The Austrian Pine seems to like clay more than Ponderosa as well.

Positive

On Jan 23, 2009, Pinyon from Prescott, AZ (Zone 7a) wrote:

This pine is EXTREMELY hardy and tolerant of different climates. I've seen them successfully thriving from Minnesota all the way down to Tuscon (where 100+ degree temperatures are very normal in summer). It's almost as if these things can grow anywhere. If you're a beginner to gardening, I'd recommend this tree since it seems like It'd grow in any condition just fine as long as you water it.

Negative

On Apr 19, 2008, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have seen a few nice examples of these trees, but overall they are the most prone of all evergreens to insects and disease in this area. Very often used as ornamental trees in poor/wet sites they require treatment to keep them looking acceptable.

Positive

On Mar 27, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Pinus nigra, or Austrian pine, is native to western Europe. Introduced to this country in the mid-1800's, it has been planted extensively as an ornamental and conservation plant. In some areas, Austrian pine grows to a height of 30 to 50 feet with a spread of 20 to 25 feet. On most soils, growth rate is usually 12 to 18 inches per year, and to me I consider this rapid growth. Young trees are pyramidal in shape, but become oval with age and, on some sites, flat topped. Noted for its dark, rich green foliage, Austrian pine provides a nice contrast with other plants. Austrian pine needles are stiff, usually straight, 2 to 4 inches long and are in groups of 2. Needles can stay on the trees for 2 to 3 years. Oval shaped cones are 2 to 3 inch long. The cone scales do not have prickles. The bark ... read more

Positive

On Jan 27, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A beautiful pine with dark green needles 3" to 6" long. cones are 2" to 3" and somewhat pointed, without stalks and dropping from the tree early.

Mature trunks have a distinctive grayish yellow bark with vertical plates.

Very common in Northern landscaped parks, and they sometimes spread from cultivation.

Positive

On Jan 3, 2005, spklatt from Ottawa, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:

Austrian pine is reported to not fare as well in zones 7 & 8 as it does in colder climates. From personal experience, it thrives in zone 5a, unfazed by heavy snow, freezing rain, road salt...and even the occasional summer! It can spread to 20-40', so is best in a a large yard. Beautiful tree; Recommended.