WSU Clark County Extension

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Austrian Pine

Scientific name: Pinus nigra

Type:Coniferous trees
Plant Requirements
Zone:3 to 7
Plant Characteristics
Height:60 ft
Width:25 ft
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description A highly adapted and good looking evergreen tree, Austrian pine is valued for its densely branched conical form when young, maturing to a stately umbrella shaped tree with time. It is very commonly planted in the Midwest as well as on the east coast.

This western European native is now widely grown across the temperate United States. At maturity it reaches a height of 60’, with a width of 25’. When young, it has a pyramidal shape with upright branches. Needles are sharp and stiff, and grouped in bundles of two. They grow to a length of 2” to 4”, and have a dark green color. Needles are usually held 2 years before being shed.

As Austrian pines mature their bark turns brown to gray, developing gray-brown ridges and dark brown furrows.

Cones are grouped in bundles of two, and are 2” to 3” long. They possess a sharp prickle and mature in the fall.

Austrian Pine is one of the most adaptable pines to a wide variety of environmental conditions. It prefers soils that are moist and well-drained, but adapts to heavy clay soils that are moist and at times poorly drained. It is remarkably tolerant of hot and cold wind and is a crucial component in shelter belts and windbreaks.

Generally pest free in the Northwest. Dothistroma needle blight, the scourge of Austrian pine in the Midwest, is not common here on the West Coast.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234