Pinus nigra - Austrian Pine
Family: Pinaceae

Hear the scientific name

Pinus nigra is a bold-textured, long-needled, and dark green Pine tree that is ideal for midwestern soils and climates. Austrian Pine is plagued by a combination of being overplanted and being very susceptible to the fungal infection known as diplodia tip blight.

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  form Form

-large evergreen specimen tree

-maturing at about 40' tall x 20' wide in urban situations, but can reach much larger dimensions under optimum conditions with extreme maturity

-upright oval to upright pyramidal growth habit in youth, becoming rounded and flat-topped with maturity

-medium growth rate

foliage Foliage

-2 evergreen needles per bundle, to 5" long and stiff

-dark green, radiating from the very stout stems, and persisting for about 5 yrs. on the stems


-like all pines, monoecious, flowering in late Apr. and early May, and while noticeable they are ornamentally insignificant


-2" brown cones


-yellowish green and stout when emerging from the large terminal buds as upright "candles", becoming gray, rough, needle-scarred, and very stout with age

trunk Trunk

-gray-brown furrows and ridges are often hidden by the lower branches, unless the tree is limbed up with age

-upon prolonged exposure to sunlight, the outer bark on mature trees becomes chalky white, and the inner bark darkens to almost black, creating a platy zebra-like pattern with maturity; however, only Austrian Pines that are limbed up and of old age exhibit this trait

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-full sun to partial sun

-performs best in full sun in moist, well-drained soils, but very adaptable to adverse soil conditions (including clay, compacted, poor, and/or alkaline soils), moderate to heavy winter salt spray, heat, drought, and pollution

-propagated primarily by seeds

-diplodia tip blight (Diplodia pinea, also known as Sphaeropsis sapinea) is a serious disease (specifically fungal) problem, and pine sawfly larvae is an occasional pest problem (but not nearly as severe as in Mugo Pine)

-abundantly available in B&B form


-zones 4 to 7


-native to various regions of Europe, including Austria

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-probably the most urban tolerant pine for the Midwestern U.S.

-winter salt spray tolerant (one of the few Pines)

very bold texture

-attractive white-green "candles" in spring

-ornamental white-and-black bark with age


-diplodia tip blight is a potentially severe disease problem that may limit the plant's use in future


-evergreen tree used either as a single specimen, or in group or mass plantings as a visual screen or windbreak, and casting dense shade with maturity


-bold texture in youth (becoming very bold-textured with age as the branches develop a semi-contorted character, the trunk becomes bare, and the bark develops plates and a bicolored pattern)

-thick density in youth but variable with age

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-bold-textured evergreen trees (Picea pungens, Pinus heldreichii var. leucodermis, Pinus ponderosa, Pinus taeda, etc.)

-screen or windbreak evergreen trees (Abies concolor, Abies fraseri, Picea abies, Picea pungens, Pinus strobus, etc.)


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