Pines are landscape workhorses. They are a top choice for screening a view or wrapping a patio with lovely green privacy, providing interest along a foundation, or as an eye-catching focal point in the landscape. Look for cultivars ranging from 3-foot-tall shearable foundation specimens to a lofty Australian pine that will stand 60 feet tall at maturity. These hardworking evergreens are particular about their growing environment. Plant them in a location where they will thrive, and you’ll enjoy decades of year-round color while creating a valuable habitat for wildlife.
Garden Plans For Pine
Planting Pine Trees
Pines pair well with many plants. Create a texture-rich privacy screen by pairing tall pine species with hemlock, spruce, and arborvitae species. These evergreen champions will grow alongside each other to create a dense, evergreen screen. Dwarf pines are perfect complements for perennial beds and foundation plantings. Pair pines with shrub roses and hydrangeas for a colorful show year-round.
Pine Tree Care
Pines grow well in full sun and average- to medium-moisture soil that is well-drained. There are many species of pine. For best success, search out a species that is native to your region. For example, an eastern white pine is native to the northeast United States and Canada. It would languish in central Georgia. A longleaf pine is native to the South and thrives in the heat in that area. Check with your local Extension Service to learn more about pines that are native to your area.
Plant pine in spring and water regularly during the first growing season. Spread a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch around plants to prevent soil moisture loss. Pruning is rarely necessary. Prune as needed to remove dead or broken branches.
Pines are susceptible to a number of problems. Blights and rusts are the main diseases impacting pines. Difficult, and sometimes impossible to treat, blights and rusts are often fatal over time. An additional disease is canker. Insect problems include pine weevil, bark beetles, pine sawfly, scale, and aphids. Many pine diseases and insect problems can be avoided by planting the tree in its preferred growing environment. Cool summer weather combined with well-drained soil that is moderately fertile will produce a healthy tree that can fend off many diseases and insects.
Plant breeders are continuously introducing new dwarf pines for small landscapes. These valuable plants often reach a mature size of less than 10 feet tall and wide. They also tolerate pruning well and can be sheared to a desired shape. You'll find varieties with deep green needles, icy blue needles, and bright chartreuse needles—have fun with the color diversity of pines. Look for dwarf varieties of pine at your local garden center.
More Varieties of Pine
Pinus nigra forms a dense, dark green pyramid of evergreen foliage. It grows best in cool-summer climates and reaches 130 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Zones 5-8
This pine variety offers medium-length dark green needles. It grows 70 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Zones 5-8
Pinus aristata is native to Colorado's Rocky Mountains and grows into a small, multistemmed tree to 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Zones 4-8
This cultivar is a striking selection with bright golden color in winter that fades to green in spring. It grows 60 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Zones 5-8
Pinus strobus 'Contorta' offers twisted needles and curled branches that create a distinct note in the landscape. It can grow 40 feet tall and 12 feet wide. Zones 4-9
This type of pine bears soft needles on tall, rugged trees. It's often used as windbreak plantings, but note the tree develops an open habit as it ages. It grows 120 feet tall and 25 feet wide. Zones 4-9
Pinus parviflora is a sculptural tree with blue-green needles. It grows 30-70 feet tall and 25 feet wide. Zones 6-9
This variety is native to the Rocky Mountains and handles drought, heat, and alkaline soil better than most pines. It grows 70 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Zones 3-7
Pinus parviflora 'Peterson' is a dense, pyramid-shape evergreen with silvery, blue-green needles. It's a slow grower to 18 feet tall and 9 feet wide. Zones 5-8
This cultivar bears beautiful green needles streaked with blue. It grows 70 feet tall and 25 feet wide at maturity. Zones 3-7
Pinus contorta 'Taylor's Sunburst' features bright gold new spring growth that fades to deep green in summer. It grows 30 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-8