By: Teo Spengler
Austrian pine trees are also called European black pines, and that common name more accurately reflects its native habitat. A handsome conifer with dark, dense foliage, the tree’s lowest branches can touch the ground. For more Austrian pine information, including Austrian pine growing conditions, read on.
Austrian Pine Information
Austrian pine trees (Pinus nigra) are native to Austria, but also Spain, Morocco, Turkey, and Crimea. In North America, you can see Austrian pines in the landscape in Canada, as well as in the eastern U.S.
The tree is very attractive, with dark-green needles up to 6 inches (15 cm.) long that grow in groups of two. The trees hold onto the needles for up to four years, resulting in a very dense canopy. If you see Austrian pines in the landscape, you may notice their cones. These grow in yellow and mature at about 3 inches (7.5 cm.) long.
Cultivation of Austrian Pine Trees
Austrian pines are happiest and grow best in chilly regions, thriving in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 7. This tree may also grow in areas of zone 8.
If you are thinking of growing Austrian pine trees in your backyard, be sure you have enough space. Cultivation of Austrian pine is only possible if you have plenty of space. The trees can grow to 100 feet (30.5 m.) tall with a 40-foot (12 m.) spread.
Austrian pine trees left to their own devices grow their lowest branches very close to the ground. This creates an exceptionally attractive natural shape.
You’ll find that they are very flexible and adaptable, although they prefer a site with direct sun for most of the day. Austrian pine trees can adapt to a wide range of soil types, including acidic, alkaline, loamy, sand, and clay soil. The trees must have deep soil, however.
These trees can thrive in high and low terrain. In Europe, you’ll see Austrian pines in the landscape in mountainous area and lowlands, from 820 feet (250 m.) to 5,910 feet (1,800 m.) above sea level.
This tree tolerates urban pollution better than most pine trees. It also does well by the sea. Although ideal Australian pine growing conditions include moist soil, the trees can tolerate some dryness and exposure.
This article was last updated on
How to Plant Austrian Pine
The Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) is also commonly referred to as black pine. This evergreen tree grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8A. You can recognize the Austrian pine tree by its dark green, and rather long needles. Its shape resembles that of a pyramid -- with a typical Christmas-tree shape when young, maturing to a flat-topped, broader silhouette. Planting an Austrian pine in your backyard won't be difficult since these trees prosper in a variety of soils.
Locate a spot in your yard that receives full sun. This spot must also be able to accommodate the Austrian pine after it grows to maturity. Keep in mind that the tree has a 20- to 40-foot spread and can reach heights as high as 60 feet.
Measure the root ball of the Austrian pine seedling and dig a hole that is equal in depth and at least 2 inches wider all the way around. Gently remove the root ball from the container it came in. Simply tap the edges and you should be able to wiggle the root ball right out.
Remove any burlap that is surrounding the root ball and place the root ball directly in the center of the hole. Austrian pines can handle almost any type of soil, including sand, clay, loam, alkaline, acidic as long as it drains well.
Mix the soil you dug out of the hole with some compost. Use this combination to fill in the remaining space around the root ball. You need enough of the mixture so that the root ball barely moves when you tug on it.
Water the soil around the root ball until it becomes moist, but not sopping wet. Regular waterings are necessary for the first two years once you have finished planting your Austrian pine. After that, rain water will be sufficient.
Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around the top of the Austrian pine seedling. Mulch helps keep weeds at bay, as well as keeps the soil moist.
|Scientific Name||Pinus nigra|
Austrian Pine Christmas Tree
How to Take Care of Austrian Pine Trees
The Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) is a hardy, low-maintenance evergreen tree that’s often planted as windbreaks and border rows. The Austrian pine tree has dark green, dense foliage with 2- to 4-inch long needles that grow in groups of two. The tree can reach up to 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide, usually maturing into a natural pyramidal shape. Originating from Austria, Yugoslavia and northern Italy, the Austrian pine tree grows best in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 7, where winters are colder and temperatures can dip down to minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water your Austrian pine trees deeply to soak the soil down to the roots only during times of drought or prolonged dry spells. Regular or supplemental watering is not necessary.
Prune your Austrian pine trees in late winter or early spring to remove all dead, diseased or damaged limbs.
- The Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) is a hardy, low-maintenance evergreen tree that’s often planted as windbreaks and border rows.
Treat your Austrian pine trees for the common fungal disease Diplodia tip blight by pruning away the diseased or cankered branches. Spray the pine trees with a fungicide according to the directions on the label.
Control pine needle scale infestations by spraying your Austrian pine trees with an appropriate insecticide when the scale insects are mobile and in the “crawler” stage, which is usually in June or July. Spray your pines with a dormant horticultural oil in late winter to kill the over-wintering scale insects.
Watch out for bark beetles infesting your Austrian pine trees. Look for holes bored into the pine trees’ trunks to detect bark beetles. Get rid of the bark beetles using an appropriate insecticide, according to the instructions on the label.
- Treat your Austrian pine trees for the common fungal disease Diplodia tip blight by pruning away the diseased or cankered branches.
- Spray your pines with a dormant horticultural oil in late winter to kill the over-wintering scale insects.
Dothistroma needle blight is another fungal disease that attacks Austrian pine trees, causing the needles to brown and develop reddish-brown spots or bands. Spray the Austrian pines with a Bordeaux mixture or another copper-based fungicide in mid-May and again in mid-to-late June.
Avoid fertilizing your Austrian pine trees, because doing so can cause overgrowth. You can, however, spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of bark mulch around the base of the pine trees to help control weeds and retain soil moisture.
Wear gloves and eye protection when you’re spraying your Austrian pine trees with insecticides, fungicides or other chemicals.
After Care Is Important
An Austrian pine tree is a tough, adaptable tree, but giving it some special attention after pruning helps support healthy new growth. Water the plant deeply every week to stimulate new sprouts, especially during dry spells, which can stress the tree and slow growth. You can also top-dress the tree's root zone with compost to give the tree extra nutrients, gently mixing it into the top inch or two of soil, but avoid chemical fertilizers, which could burn new growth. Adding a 3- or 4-inch layer of organic mulch helps conserve soil moisture while also keeping down weeds that compete for soil nutrients.