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Balkan pine

Needles of Balkan pine.

Balkan pine is not well known, but has potential to be an attractive landscape plant in residential yards.  This tree may be difficult to find in local nurseries. 

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.


Botanical name:

Pinus peuce

All common names:

Balkan pine, Macedonian pine

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Shade tree,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Large tree (more than 40 feet),
  • medium tree (25-40 feet)

Mature Height:

30-60 feet

Mature Width:

20-25 feet

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Occasional drought,
  • Alkaline soil

Acid Soils:

  • Prefers

Alkaline Soils:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Salt Spray:

  • Intolerant

Soil Salt:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Drought Conditions:

  • Tolerant

Poor Drainage:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Planting Considerations:

  • May be difficult to find in nurseries

Ornamental Interest:

  • Edible fruit

Seasons of Interest:

  • early winter,
  • midwinter,
  • late winter,
  • early spring,
  • mid spring,
  • late spring,
  • early summer,
  • midsummer,
  • late summer,
  • early fall,
  • mid fall,
  • late fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Inconspicuous

Shape or Form:

  • Narrow,
  • Pyramidal

Growth Rate:

  • Slow

Transplants Well:

  • Yes

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

Best in full sun, relatively tolerant of most soils as long as well-drained.
omewhat tolerant of salt.
Slow growing.

Disease, pests, and problems

Susceptible to a number of diseases including Diplodia tip blight, needle casts, and pine wilt.
Susceptible to a number of pests including pine sawfly, pine needle scale and Zimmerman pine moth.

Balkan pine (Pinus peuce)
Balkan pine (Pinus peuce) cones
photo: John Hagstrom

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to the Balkans.

Bark color and texture 

Gray-brown, becoming scaly with age.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Evergreen needles in bundles of 5; 3 to 4 inches long

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Monoecious, separate male and female flowers.  Not ornamentally important.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Woody cones, 3-6 inches long.

Cultivars and their differences

Pacific Blue Balkan pine (Pinus peuce 'Pacific Blue'):  Blue needles and a more upright habit than the species.


Location of Pinus peuce (Balkan pine) at the Arboretum