Afghan Pine, Eldar Pine, Mondell Pine, Mondale Pine

Pinus eldarica

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pinus (PY-nus) (Info)
Species: eldarica (el-DAR-ee-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Pinus brutia subsp. eldarica




Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Medium Green


over 40 ft. (12 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:


Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Golden Valley, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Prescott, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

San Luis, Arizona

Tombstone, Arizona

Apple Valley, California

China Lake Acres, California

Fontana, California

Hesperia, California

Joshua Tree, California

North Highlands, California

Pinon Hills, California

Ridgecrest, California

Tollhouse, California

Upland, California

Victorville, California

Yucca Valley, California

Wichita, Kansas

Henderson, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

Pahrump, Nevada

Alamogordo, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico(2 reports)

Los Lunas, New Mexico

Placitas, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Dundee, Oregon

Buda, Texas

El Paso, Texas(2 reports)

Farmersville, Texas

Hamilton, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

Lampasas, Texas

Leakey, Texas

Marfa, Texas

Midland, Texas

Mullin, Texas

Presidio, Texas

Red Oak, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Trenton, Texas

Ivins, Utah

Kanab, Utah

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 10, 2021, nmresident from Placitas, NM wrote:

Just planted 30 Afghan pines in Placitas, New Mexico that were purchased from Plant World in Albuquerque. 15 gallon containers. Average height 6.5'. All trees staked because of high winds in this area. We'll see how they do. Plan to water them every 2-3 days for at least the first month or two, perhaps using less water later until roots get established. After research and talking to several people familiar with this tree, it appears Placitas may be at or near the northern limit for Afghan pines in New Mexico because of winter temperatures (which sometimes get below -5F) and elevation (over 6,000') in our area. Albuquerque is lower elevation, has less wind, and is generally more protected; Afgahn pines seem to do well there. Will report back in a year or two about how these pines are doing ... read more


On Mar 26, 2017, mrn from Tehran,
Iran (Zone 7b) wrote:

hello all
1. Pinus eldarica damages in zone 6 in winter.
2. Also known as Tehran Pine rather than Afghan pine but does not belongs to both. Its natural range is "Eldar" valley, Georgia and Azerbaijan.


On Dec 1, 2014, poolgurl from Kerrville, TX wrote:

Planted this tree 12 years ago. Started with a 3 foot plant and now a healthy 40 footer. Or taller. Nice straight tree, never pruned. Watered well the first 2 years in our hot summers and now maybe 4 times a year. Rocky alkaline soil, 24 in. average rainfall, Texas Hill Country.


On May 20, 2014, Themomma from Alamogordo, NM wrote:

My husband and father in law planted 3 of these trees. 2 died and 1 has taken off completely. It's almost 40ft tall and beautiful. I've seen several of these trees around here that are dead or dying. I've never had a problem with this last one. I water twice a week here in southern NM and it's just getting bigger. My father in law also has about 10 of these trees that were older and larger when he planted them that don't look anywhere near as healthy as mine does. He's the one that taught me how to care for mine. Mine has survived hail, ice storm, late frosts, damaging winds, my inattention, and 2 digging dogs and is still going strong.


On Mar 31, 2013, syrinx109 from Las Cruces, NM wrote:

Afghan pines grow beautifully in southern NM, especially when they get a little extra water occasonally. My question is about transplanting them. I left 4 of them in one gallon pots in a garden that gets regular water 5 yrs ago. They are 6 ft tall now and growing beautfully, still in the one gallon pots. Should I spend the money to attempt to move them now or just cut them down and lose them? The 4 pots are snuggled together under an elm tree so we would have to sort thru the elm roots also.


On Apr 2, 2012, DisHammerhand from Fontana, CA wrote:

These trees are planted all over southern California. They are fragrant and good-looking and seem to tolerate wind well except in cases where they are over watered. The only ones I've seen break are in a planned community where they are in lawns watered daily by sprinklers.

Large Eldaricas can be pretty much ignored. There is a row of them near a cement pipe plant with asphalt on both sides. I know they don't water them and they look beautiful.

I just planted one in the ignored parts of my backyard. I will give it some water for the first few years then I will leave it alone except to admire it.


On Mar 6, 2011, metarzan from Farmersville, TX wrote:

I live in Farmersville Texas, northeast region of Texas - zones 7/8, black clay. Despite the disheartening reports I have read about the fungal disease and shoot tip moth which affect Eldarica Pines, so far have had great results with my six trees. After about the first year they take off growing about 1-2 feet per year. These trees are now my favorite pines, they are beautiful, very hardy during hot dry summers, and grow very quickly. I plant mine a little "high" which forms a slight mound around the tree. Would like to plant a whole bunch more but can't find them anywhere.


On Nov 23, 2010, RICK_TAYLOR from Holbrook, AZ wrote:

We live in Holbrook, Arizona, at 5000 feet. What I understand is the limit for Mondale Pines. We acquired Mondale pines almost 30 years ago from the Arizona State Land Dept. Nearly all survived initial planting. Several years later, we lost several during the winter. Thirty or so survived, and are now 40-50 feet tall.

We began to see seedlings in our garden within the past 10 years and attempted to transplant them. The rabbits like them, though. The last we transplanted took, and is now 36" tall. In spring, 2010, we planted seeds. 70 germinated in a pot. We moved them into individual containers, and they are now 6" tall. We intend to plant them when they are 12"-18" tall. And now that we know how to do it, we intend to propagate more.


On Nov 21, 2010, Squib from Tombstone, AZ wrote:

Tombstone Az. (High Desert, @4500ft., annual rainfall, 12-15 inches).

Planted from a 1gln. potted about 1998. Soil conditions: VERY alkalaine: (Caliche). Rough first 2 years, began treating with small amounts of Tannic acid with fertilizer. By about the fourth year, the tree "took-off". Now, 2010, tree is about 12ft. in height, four in. trunk diameter.


On May 30, 2010, shawnkilpatrick from Fort Mohave, AZ (Zone 13a) wrote:

These are widely planted in the high desert of southern California. I live in Yucca Valley and have planted at least a dozen. I have one that is absolutely breath taking. Started as a 15 gallon, now well over twenty feet tall, full skirt and deep green needles. I've posted a picture of a some in my front yard, taken during the super cold winter of 2006. This is a prettier and hardier tree than Aleppos, which are also widely planted here.


On May 30, 2010, camper92663 from Kanab, UT wrote:

These are great pines for dry climates. I notice negative comments from those living in south Texas. This because you have to much rain there and the soil is probably too sweet. These trees can take no more than 20 inches per year after they establish. Any more they get root rot.

I live in Southern Utah which has little rain, lots of heat, and alkaline soil... and they thrive here as well as north TX, NM, and AZ
The key in my area is to water only once per week after planting from a container. If your tree caliper is about an inch and a half water no more than three gallons at a time. Keep them moist but don't over water. Second year water even less. After they reach 18 ft they will have a 10 inch caliper and their roots will be down in the moist sand. They are then ... read more


On May 26, 2010, Dale_S from Parker, CO wrote:

I am a woodturner, and have a request for the group. I need some UNOPENED afghan pine cones for my turning, and am willing to pay for them. I wish they grew in Colorado, but they don't! Please let me know if you have any you'd like to sell. Or, I'd be happy to trade you a few finished pens for the correct material. THANKS!


On Mar 20, 2010, robjohn from Canyon, TX wrote:

We are just south of Amarillo. These trees seem very well suited for this area. We planted thirty one gallon size it 1999. Now we have thirty about twenty feet or more tall. I call that success.


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

I bought two of these guys (6 ft +) for $9.00 from home depot. I planted them at the start of winter since the sales were going on at the time. It is now spring (March) and they are lush and green. They are very happy and new growth is apparent. Lets see how they will handle their first summer.

UPDATE 2013. Both pine trees are now taking off up here in the high desert! The first couple of years were a little slow, but once they were established (a couple years later) they shot up about two feet each. Conclusion? They seem to be doing very well up here.


On Dec 6, 2007, mitogea from San Luis,
Mexico wrote:

Great. I live in Mexico, Sonora desert too. And this plant thrives very well mainly as "dunes fixer" . In many countries from the mediterran Africa they have very good technology for this plant in sandy dunes. Gives life to the desert


On Sep 4, 2006, gardeningjen from Tollhouse, CA wrote:

Bought my Afgan for Christmas 2005 at a local market. I usually buy a living Christmas tree once every 2-3 years. I keep it in a large pot with wheels to bring indoors for Christmas those years. Then they go into the ground. I live in the Central Valley of California. We had a horribly hot spell for two-three weeks this year during which I kept a special eye on all potted plants. My pine has some new growth on the tips, but more die off of needles (more internal toward the trunck). I have noticed any change in height. I am thinking I ought to put it in the ground now since it is almost Fall. Any thoughts?


On Feb 4, 2006, suvlvr from Santa Fe, TX wrote:

I purchased 3 Eldarica Pines today at the local Home Depot, where they are on holiday clearance aisle in garden center for $5 ea. (6 ft +). I read the pros and cons mentioned beforehand, then decided to go ahead at that price, and see what kind of luck we have with them here. I plan to plant them far away from the house/water hose/sprinkler, etc., and will see how they do. They are so healthy looking and seem to have thrived on neglect in the parking lot there all fall/winter, so we'll see how they do in my yard, with the same attention...:/


On Apr 22, 2005, Malilah from Buda, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

We plant a 3-4 foot tall tree each Christmas for our Grandkids. They each have one now, from last year's to one that is over 30 feet tall and 19 years old. We live east of Buda, Texas (15 miles southeast of Austin) and are on the very edge of what is known as the Blackland Prairie. Heavy clay soil, very alkaline. Zone 8 I think. These pines were planted on hills, fairly close together and have thrived. Beautiful trees with lots of cones. Last year,three of the middle sized ones 10-12 feet tall - about 11 years old started turning brown. I started looking around Austin, and have found many dying Eldaricas. This year, several others are now turning brown, seems only on the north side of the trunk. We are heartsick - if it is a fungus - is there a cure ?


On Mar 12, 2005, micheld09 from Lampasas, TX wrote:

My Mom had a beautiful 30-40 ft Afghan pine. The needles are turning brown and the tree is definitely dying. The local nursery told us that the tree does not do well in our area. Anyone know why it is dying? Is there a treatment?


On Feb 3, 2005, greenkey99 from Midland, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

I planted these trees 15 years ago and they have survived baseball sized hail, and drought conditions. They have done very well in West Texas area. Only problem I have had is nantucket pine tip moth. I have been able to control this with systimic insectiside spray.


On Oct 8, 2004, jduran from Round Rock, TX wrote:

Is there anything at all that can save the pines? I had mine (3) sprayed with an anti-fungal spray (I believe copper based) but that has not worked.


On Aug 30, 2004, jbonin from San Antonio, TX wrote:

I planted my afghan pines about 20 years ago and can confirm they are all dying. Too bad as they grew fast and looked good. All the needles are turning brown. Had to cut one down just this week. San Antonio


On Aug 1, 2003, texano from Leakey, TX wrote:

The Afghan Pine is not a native pine and was planted extensively in the central texas area. All the Afghan pines in this area are now dying probably from the spread of the fungal disease Diplodia pinea. (USDA Forest Disease Leaflet 161) I have had to cut down 12 mature pine trees on my property. I do not recommend planting this pine anywhere without running the risk of contacting the disease.


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

Thrives in desert heat, drought and wind. Good for seashore conditions, and tolerates poor soils and difficult climates.

Native to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Southern Russia. Moderate to fast growth, especially when young. May reach 30 feet to 80 feet at maturity. Forms small attractive cones.
Has a deep root system. Most common pests are bark aphids and mites.

The natural shape is attractive with separated branches, but if desired, it may be pruned with hand shears or hedge shears to the desired shape.

On a personal note, we purchased one of these as a living Christmas tree, height 6 feet, around 9-10 years ago. It is now more than 25 feet tall and beautiful. The birds love to nest in it. I would plant more of these when they ar... read more