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Genus Pinus (Pine)

Pinus Pinus densiflora 'Oculus Draconis' Photo/Illustration: Steve Silk
PY-nus Common Name: Pine
Pinus is a widely distributed genus of about 120 species hailing from forests of the Northern hemisphere. The bark of these evergreen trees and shrubs is often fissured or sometimes divided into plates. Cones are borne on both male and female plants, with the female cones taking several years to ripen.
Noteworthy characteristics: Evergreen; bark is often attractive; coniferous. Pines can be used as specimens (large or small and slow growing), in the mixed border, or as windbreaks.
Care: Pines are quite adaptable, only needing well-drained soil and full sun.
Propagation: For species, sow seed in containers in a cold frame in spring. Graft cultivars in late winter.
Problems: Sawfly, caterpillars, scale insects, mealy bugs, miners, and borers are common. Blister rust, butt rot, blights, pitch canker, cone rust, tar spot, and brown cubical rot are some possible diseases that may affect pines.

Species, varieties and cultivars for genus Pinus

Pinus densiflora 'Oculus Draconis' Pinus densiflora 'Oculus Draconis'
(Dragon's-eye Japanese red pine)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This pine's needles are marked with bands of yellow and green. The buttery yellow variegation on the 3- to 5-inch needles is present year-round, but intensifies as summer turns to fall and persists into winter. The scaly, fissured bark is lovely, ranging in color from gray to rich rusty orange. This is a graceful tree when mature, with an irregular branching habit and tilted trunk.

Pinus nigra Pinus nigra
(Austrian pine, European black pine)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Dark green, 4- to 6-inch-long needles and furrowed bark (on mature trees) make Austrian pine an attractive large specimen tree. It can also be used as screening, although its growth habit becomes more open with age.

no image available Pinus resinosa
(Red pine)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The yellow-green leaves of this pine are 4 to 6 inches long. The bark is densely branched and flaky and reddish in the upper crown, scaly and pink-gray at the base. The tree has thick orange to red-brown shoots, chestnut-brown female cones, and purple male cones.

no image available Pinus strobus 'Fastigiata'
(Eastern white pine)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This robust evergreen tree has a narrowly columnar crown with ascending branches, slender gray-green leaves, and smooth gray bark. Tapered green female cones ripen to brown.