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AUSTRIAN BLACK PINE, BLACK PINE

Pinus nigra

Pinaceae

Austrian pine, Austrian black pine, or black pine, is native to the Mediterranean area, most abundant in Turkey. It does not seem to be commonly planted in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I have seen one at Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Austrian pine is moderately fast growing, and can reach 180 feet high at maturity, with a spread to 40 feet wide. It can also be long-lived, and may reach 500 years. It occurs from sea level to 6,600 feet, prefers full sun, is intolerant of shade, but resistant to snow and ice damage as well as wind and drought.

The species is divided into two subspecies, which are further divided into varieties. In the UK, Pinus nigra is important both as a timber tree and in plantations.

In the US, black pine is planted as both a street tree and as an ornamental, and is also used for windbreaks and shelterbelts.

This young Austrian pine is near Boulder, Colorado.

Bark is light colored with dark fissures.

Stiff-looking needles are two to seven inches long, in fascicles of two.

Seed cone is oval to asymmetrical, two to four inches long.