Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)
Over the years, Red Pine has been used extensively as a reforestation pine tree that is valued for its lumber and pulpwood. At the same time, this tree makes a fine specimen which should be used more in the landscape since it has the ability to withstand cold winters, mild summers and low rainfall. Native to North America, it is also known as Norway Pine, as the early settlers of New England mistook it for Norway Spruce.
The general growth rate of this species is medium with some specimens attaining 75 feet. Its shape is upright oval in youth, becoming more spreading but still symmetrical with age. Its common name comes from the fact that its young scaly bark is a distinct orange-red, while its mature platy bark is more red-brown.
Red Pine has two medium green to dark green needles per bundle. They persist for up to four years on the twigs and branchlets, giving this pine tree a very dense appearance. The characteristic that sets the five-inch long needles of this pine apart from other pines in eastern North America is their tendency to snap or break when bent. By the end of the first growing season, the green cones turn to a tan color. At maturity during the second season, the brown cones are about two inches long, and do not have prickles on the backside of their scales.
Red Pine thrives on exposed, dry, acid, sandy or gravely soils and requires full sun. It will grow poorly or die if planted in wet, clay. While the pines in general are susceptible to a variety of insects and diseases, Red Pine is relatively trouble-free.
Red Pine Choices
Don Smith is a dwarf selection. The cones are purple and ornamental when young. Quinobequin is a globe-shaped dwarf with needles half as long as those of the species. It originated from a witches broom. Morel is a dwarf, rounded plant. Quinobequin is a globe-shaped dwarf with needles half as long as those of the species. It also originated from a witches broom.