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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.
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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.