Types of Pine Bushes: Uses and FAQs Included
Many people tend to refer to all the conifers as pine trees. In all honesty, it is not a false assumption because Pinaceae or the pine family is the largest in the conifers and accounts for twenty-five percent of all conifers. But, to be a pine tree, it should belong to the Pinus genus.
Since pines can live for several decades, please carefully select and pick the suitable types of pine bushes for landscaping.
You can find pines in all shapes and sizes, ranging from only two meters to 40 meters. So, from tall forest giants to conifer shrubs or the tiny carpeting pines, there is pine for all landscapes.
This guide will discuss several pine bushes varieties. Let us get started and address them one by one.
Pine Tree Snapshot
|Native to||Distributed across the world but native to northern temperate regions.|
|Height||Coniferous resinous trees grow to 10–260 feet, but most species are only 50–150 feet.|
|Lifespan||They are long-lived and may survive 100–1,000 years. Great Basin Bristlecone Pine has the longest lifespan.|
|Temperature||Pine trees love cool summers. They can thrive in the cold winters, but hot or dry conditions may not be suitable.|
|Sun||Pine trees are not shade nor drought tolerant. They love full sun.|
|Soil||Pine trees appreciate well-drained and well-irrigated soil.|
|Water||Give your pines a deep watering in hot summers at least twice a week. During this while, pines also love proper mulching, which helps the soil retain moisture. When the climate is normal, you only need to ensure that the soil is moist to guarantee optimum growth.|
Related: Pine Tree Lifespan | Pine Tree Growth Rate| Pine Tree Fertilizer
How Do I Identify What Kind Of Pine Tree I Have?
It is not challenging to identify different types of pine bushes that you may have. Just focus on the following.
1. Examine its needles
- The first step toward identifying the pine tree type is by assessing their needles. As you know, pines are conifers, so their leaves are not like other typical trees. Instead, they have needles. So, any other tree that does not have needles but leaves will fall out of this category. Just remember the exceptions like spruces. They have needles, but theirs are not as tall.
- One distinguishing factor is the pine tree needles grow in bundles, ranging from one to eight needles. You will find them at the end of the smaller branch. However, in other evergreen trees, the needles grow individually. The pine needles have a spiral arrangement around the twig.
- Pine tree bundles hide in their papery bark. The barks have hues of orange-brown, red, or rust.
- After visual examination, you now need to examine the pine trees physically. Touch them and see if they are hard or soft. If the latter, it is a pine tree.
- Every three years, the plant sheds its older needles.
Overall, it is a pine tree if it has:
- Needles growing in clusters
- Long and bendy but soft needles
2. Examine the cones
You can also identify the types of pine bushes from their cones.
- A typical cone in a pine tree takes about two 24 months to establish. Cones in pines change their color. While young, they are green-hued but become reddish brown as they mature, sometimes even black. Also, the young pines are closely packed, depicting a distinguished pattern.
- The spruce and pine cones droop towards the ground. But, if they are upright, it is probably a fir tree.
- Unlike the other evergreen trees, the cones in pine trees are thick and hard. You can try breaking the cone for assessment – it is not a pine if it breaks easily.
- They are so stiff that they remain intact even after falling on the ground.
- Some pines have unique points on the scales. So, observe the scales and see if the center of the scale converges. If yes, it is a pine.
3. Assess the environment and the tree structure
- When young, the pine tree has a smooth bark. But, as it grows older, the bark evolves with time and becomes flaky. But, the white pine’s bark remains smooth throughout.
- Most evergreen trees have a triangled appearance. However, in pine trees, the structure is relatively less fuller. After they attain some height, they may shed leaves and bottom branches.
- Pine trees do not enjoy an area with poorly drained soil. They like sandy soils and ones that can drain well. So, the pines cannot grow if the ground has clayey soil.
- Pine bushes love sunlight. So, they appear in large numbers in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the reason they have a heavy dominance in the mountainous regions. Also, as they are cold-hardy, they can survive the higher altitude.
Types Of Pine Bushes For Landscaping
Here is a list of pine trees that give you the appearance of a bush. You can grow them in your yard for landscaping.
1. Pinus Densiflora Low Glow
Low Glow Japanese Red Pine grows in USDA hardiness zone five and has lush green needles and a vast spread. Its bark turns reddish upon maturity. It is a slow-growing but well-behaved pine that needs no hardcore care. With minimal pruning, you can easily maintain its appeal.
2. Weeping White Pine
It is a beautiful and graceful pine, which appears like a waterfall with its bluish-green needles. People usually add this to their yard or landscape for a curtain effect. Botanically known as the Pinus strobus ‘Pendula,’ it is native to parts of North America.
It is an adaptable plant that thrives in well-drained, moist soil in an area that receives full sun. The plant grows in USDA hardiness zones four through nine.
3. Aleppo Pine
Also called the Jerusalem pine, it is one of the drought-resistant palm varieties, a beautiful landscape tree in hot weather. It justifies the dominance of the plant in Southern California. Native to the Mediterranean region, the plant has light yellowish-green needles.
Some parts of the world call these types of pine bushes to be invasive because it tends to take over the areas burned by fire. It has a conical open-crowned shape and is best suited for people with a large yard where the plant can grow unrestricted. The tree has two needles, sometimes even three per bundle.
4. Joppi Jeffrey Pine
It is a compact version of the Jeffrey pine and is a perfect inclusion in sunny rocky gardens. Upon maturity, the plant gets to a height of six feet. Jeffrey pine has puffs of foliage with needles, usually long at eight inches. It is a low-maintenance plant with a rounded habit.
Hence, it needs no trimming or pruning. If grown in a container, the Jeffrey pine spreads to three feet and has a maximum height of four feet. It enjoys full sun and thrives in USDA hardiness zone five. The plant enjoys well-drained, rocky, or sandy soil.
5. Shore Pines
Unlike the usual Pine trees, the Shore Pine is quite different. They are petite and have a slower growth rate. So, if you need an evergreen plant that stays small and can even grow in a pot, Shore Pines can be the desired pick for you. Their leaves have a rich green hue, but in spring and winters, the leaves metamorphose their colors to golden, brightening even the darkest corner.
6. Mugo Pine
Also called the Swiss Mountain Pine, the Mugo Pine is botanically called the Pinus Mugo. It can grow to 20 feet and has a spread of 25 feet. It is a slow-growing plant, which grows only 12 inches per year.
Mugo has a rounded, pyramidal shape with dark green needles of varying lengths, usually between one and two inches. In winters, the pine needles change their color to yellowish-green.
It thrives in USDA hardiness zones three through seven. The plant likes partial shade and sun for growth. If you plant it in well-draining soil, it can grow well.
7. Coulter Pine
Scientifically called the Pinus Coulteri, the Coulter Pine is native to Mexico and California. It has three needles per bundle and is a vast tree with heavy cones. Even though it is a huge plant, it does not have heavy commercial use. Even though it finds use as firewood or an ornamental tree, most people usually opt for other varieties for such purposes.
8. Japanese White Pine
Botanically called the Pinus Parviflora, these types of pine bushes grow well in areas only up to as cold as USDA zone 5, where the wintertime low temperature does not drop to -20 degrees. It is a big tree that grows 80 feet and has a vast 40-foot spread. Thus, you must only include it in your landscape if there is ample room for it to grow.
Japanese White Pine may yield one trunk or split into multiple trunks as it grows. Hence, it is the perfect specimen for pruning in the Bonsai style and have a bonsai pine.
Despite its tall stature, it has small cones, measuring only 2.5-inches long. White Pine likes the sun, well-drained soil, and rocky slope, but it does not thrive in humid or unpleasantly hot conditions.
9. Dwarf Japanese Black Pine
The Dwarf Japanese Black Pine is a winter hardy plant that can survive to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a needled evergreen plant that reaches only four feet tall with a two feet width. Its new growth forms a straight candle in the spring.
Further, its narrow growth habit makes it a superb choice for small gardens and containers. It is a slow-growing plant that has a dense structure.
Read more on types of Japanese pine here.
Here are some popular uses of pine trees:
- They work as excellent shade plants.
- They act as the best windbreaks.
- Pines can create a privacy screen.
- The pine shields the soil from erosion.
- They add scent to the environment and work as an air freshener.
- Pine bark and needles are excellent firewood and fire starters.
- Pine oil works as a disinfectant spray.
- Pine needles are nature’s mulch.
- You can use the pine cones for the craft.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ques 1. How long does it take for pine bushes to grow?
Ans. It depends on the kind of bush and the growth conditions you provide. While some mature at nine years, others may take over two decades to grow.
Ques 2. How do you trim a pine tree bush?
Ans. Here are some tips for pruning a pine tree bush:
- Prune it in the spring.
- Use the proper tools. Loppers and a reciprocating saw fitted with a pruning blade works best for trimming the pine trees. If the branches are not thicker than 2 inches, you can use loopers, but if they are big branches, you will need a reciprocating saw.
- Once done pruning, clean all the tools thoroughly with rubbing alcohol to prevent disease transmission.
- Never use a pruning seal after trimming as it harms the trees, and intervene with its natural healing process.
- Prioritize the session to all the drying and dead branches.
- Trim any unwanted or dangerous branches.
- Consider thinning instead of completely chopping them.
- Never cut the pine’s top.
Ques 4. Which is the largest and smallest pine tree variety?
Ans. Pinus lambertiana is the largest pine tree, and the Mugo Pines is the smallest variety.
Ques 5. How do you take care of a pine Bush?
Ans. Here are some tips for taking care of a pine bush:
- Pick a good pine tree with one central leader via which all the main branches radiate. Hence, avoid any trouble with co-dominant leaders.
- Correctly plant them at a suitable location.
- Only prune them if necessary.
- Space them with an ample buffer for plants to spread.
- Address issues without delay.
- Ensure that the pine receives ample water
- Keep it shielded against pests and diseases.
Pine bushes are some of the most sought options for landscaping. It improves the visual area without too much effort. We have now covered different types of pine bushes and the basics of how to tend to them. Hopefully, you know the best option for you. Till next time. Happy gardening.