An evergreen pine tree suitable for the hot South, the Italian stone pine is a magnificent tree that produces edible nuts. It's also a beautiful ornamental tree.
This large pine is shaped like an umbrella, its canopy spreading horizontally at a considerable height from the ground. It’s an evergreen tree, but it does constantly shed its needles, forming a natural mulch that keeps weeds under control.
The Italian stone pine has long needles that are bunched together. Its red-brown bark is thick and fissured, and one of the tree’s adaptations to hot weather. Juvenile leaves are much shorter than adult ones and can be seen mixed together with the latter in younger trees or when a mature tree is regenerating itself.
The stone pine is symbolic of Rome, bordering many of the city’s historic streets.
A Tree That Loves Full Sun
This tree is native to the Mediterranean region, and this will tell you a lot about its needs. You have to make sure it gets full sun at least six hours a day, and that it gets enough water while its root system is still growing. Once it’s established, it doesn’t need that much water. It prefers well-drained soil, whether it’s alkaline or acidic.
The height reached by the Italian Stone Pine averages 30 to 60 feet in height and 30 to 50 feet width. This has to be considered when planting your Italian pine sapling, keeping a distance of at least 30 feet in between trees, and 15 feet from your foundation or underground utilities. By 20 or 30 years of age, most stone pines reach maturity.
Collecting seeds will be possible after the tree reaches maturity and starts producing pine cones, adding three years for the pine cones themselves to mature enough to be harvested.
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