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Pinus glabra, Spruce Pine

Q: Do you have any suggestions for smaller growing pines?

Q:  I would like to plant some pines but I don’t want them to get too tall.  Do you have any suggestions for smaller growing pines?

A:   One choice would be the Pinus pinea, Italian Stone Pine or Umbrella Pine, which generally gets no taller than 35 feet. The Stone Pine forms an unusual round top.  Trees grow well in slightly alkaline to acid soil. Umbrella Pine should be grown in full sun on well-drained soil. Needles are found in fascicles of 2. Italian Stone Pine develops large branches on the lower portion of the tree. This is normal and can be encouraged as long as none of them develop included bark. Something always seems to be falling from this pine tree; needles, sap, branches, and fruit appear on nearby cars, roofs and sidewalks year round so take that into consideration when choosing a planting site. It is important to maintain only central trunk leader to the top of the plant. Probably the most serious problem of Pines in areas with high pH irrigation water is pine chlorosis.

Another possible choice of pine trees would be the Pinus glabra, Spruce Pine is commonly found between 30-50 feet tall.  It becomes one of the nicest, soft-textured pines available for urban planting. Growing in full sun on moist fertile soils, this North American native will also tolerate poor, dry soils, as well as wet sites better than other Pines. Trees are very tolerant of urban conditions and have survived and grow well along streets. Trees grow in southeastern US into northern Florida on river banks and swamp edges. Soils are acid and typically sandy and periodically waterlogged. Like many trees and shrubs it grows best without grass competition. Spruce Pine is unusual among the Pines in that it will grow in partial shade. Needles found in fascicles in groups of two, similar to the Italian Stone Pine.