Although it is mostly grown as a timber tree, the Red Pine can be used in the landscape as a specimen tree, a screening tree, or a windbreak tree. The broad, pyramidal growth habit and dense canopy of the Red Pine makes this evergreen tree an excellent choice for a natural screen or windbreak. Red Pines should not, however, be planted where they will be exposed to de-icing salt spray or in excessively moist soils.
The Red Pine has a moderate growth rate and will normally reach a mature height of 75 feet, but can exceed 100 feet under optimal conditions. The crown spread is generally 15 to 20 feet. Throughout their natural range Red Pines grow in sandy soils, but they are adaptable to well-drained loamy soils and can tolerate dry, rocky soils.
The dark green, soft needles of the Red Pine may range from 3 to 8 inches in length. There are two needles per bundle and they are brittle, snapping if bent too far. Red Pine cones are 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches long.
The Red Pine derives its name from its reddish-brown, scaly bark. As the tree ages the bark transitions to form wide, flat-topped ridges with shallow splits between the ridges. Young Red Pine trees may be confused with Austrian Pines due to their similar form and texture, but the Austrian Pine has stiff needles and a grayish to blackish bark.
Insect pests on Red Pine includes several species of sawflies, pine root collar weevil, red pine shoot moth, Saratoga spittlebug, white pine weevil, and Zimmerman pine moth. European pine shoot moths may deform young Red Pine trees and the red pine scale has been known to severely injure, or even kill, Red Pine trees.
Common disease pests of Red Pine include needlecast (Lophodermium pinastri and Scirrhia acicola), scleroderris canker (Gremmeniella abietina), sirococcus tip blight (Sirococcus strobilinus), and sweetfern blister rust (Cronartium comptoniae).
The native range of Red Pine is from southern Canada south to the Great Lakes region and east to the New England states. The Red Pine may be found in Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Red Pine characteristics
Common insect pests of Red Pine: Sawflies, Pine Root Collar Weevil, Red Pine Shoot Moth, Saratoga Spittlebug, White Pine Weevil, Zimmerman Pine Moth, European Pine Shoot Moth, Red Pine Scale
Common disease pests of Red Pine: Needlecast, Scleroderris Canker, Sirococcus Tip Blight, Sweetfern Blister Rust
Form: Broadly pyramidal
Fruit: 1 ½ to 2 ½ inch long pine cone
Growth Rate: Moderate
Needles: Soft, 3 to 8 inches in length
Mature height: 50 - 75â€™
Preferred soil pH: 4.0 - 7.5
Summer foliage: Dark green
Tree Bark: Reddish brown
USDA Hardiness Zone: 2 - 7
The Map above shows the native range of the Red Pine Tree