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Red pine (Not recommended)

Needles and cones of red pine.

Red pine is a large native, long-lived evergreen tree of dry habitats.The handsome, tall straight trunk and beautiful red bark add to its beauty. Unfortunately red pine has fallen out of favor as an ornamental landscape plant and not recommended because of its susceptibility to insect and disease problems.  

Botanical name:

Pinus resinosa

All common names:

Red Pine, Norway Pine

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)

Native Locale:

  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Specimen,
  • Windbreak

Size Range:

  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 2,
  • Zone 3,
  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago)

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil,
  • Sandy soil


  • Dry sites

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:

  • Irregular,
  • Oval,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

More Information:

Size & Form

A large evergreen tree reaching 50 to 80 feet high with varying width. 
Older trees develop an oval habit with lateral branches that start relatively low to the ground.

Tree & Plant Care

Prefers a dry, loose, sandy soil with a low pH in full sun.
Trees are extremely cold tolerant.

Disease, pests, and problems

The red pine is susceptible to sweeping winds and salt.
Susceptible to many insect and disease problems and not recommended as a landscape plant.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to the Northeastern United States, from Pennsylvania to Canada and west into parts of Michigan.
Cold hardy to zone 2.

Bark color and texture 

The immature bark is orange-red and scaly while the mature bark is reddish-brown in color with large, flat, irregularly shaped diamond plates.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Long, 5 to 6 inch needles in pairs, twisted and serrated.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Monoecious (male and female flowers on same tree in separate structures), no ornamental value.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Cones are small, 2 to 3 inches long, light brown, typically found in pairs or singular, and  stalkless. 


Location of Pinus resinosa (Red pine (Not recommended)) at the Arboretum