Pinus ayacahuite


MEXICAN WHITE PINE is a vigorous tree with graceful branches. It can grow to 100 feet or taller. Mexican white pine is native to the pine-oak belt of the mountains of southern Mexico and Guatemala, also Honduras and El Salvador. I learned about it in a course on conifers, and was pleasantly surprised to find one a few blocks from where I used to live in central Berkeley.

Mexican white pine prefers full sun and well-drained soils; it needs occasional water when established, and is not tolerant of strong winds. It is closely related to our native sugar pine.

The slender needles are in clusters of five, 4 to 8 inches long, graceful and drooping. The banana-sized immature cones positively drip with resin, as you can see in the photo. Mature cones are 8 to 15 inches long.