Italian Stone Pine Tree Care Guide

These little trees are full, fun and famous as the source of delicious pignoli nuts (Italian pine nuts). Enjoy indoors through winter and then move outside when the weather warms.

Choosing a Growing Site

Choose a site with good sunlight. Italian Stone pines are happiest in full sun. These trees are evergreen, develop a canopy that's umbrell shaped and are excellent for providing cooling shade. Italian Stone pines manage salty air nicely, do well in coastal regions and are good choices for beach gardens.  

If you live in a part of the country where the ground freezes, consider repotting your pine tree to a 10-12" container and summering it outdoors. Then bring it back inside for the winter.

Soil Prep

If you live in zones 8-10 and are planting in the ground, look for a site where the soil drains well. Italian Stone pines originate in the Mediterranean where soils are well drained and often gritty. These trees won't thrive in soggy soil. 

Italian Stone pine trees are long lived and grow to a mature height of 45-75 feet. Keep this in mind if you are planting outside for eventual landscaping benefits. 

When to Plant Italian Stone Pines Outdoors

Plant outdoors in spring when frost danger has past, the soil has warmed and night temperatures have reached the 60s. 

How to Plant Your Pine Tree

Dig a hole a bit larger than the pot your tree is in and loosen the surrounding soil. Gently tip your tree out of it's nursery pot and set upright in the hole so that the soil level from the pot is even with the ground soil. Fill with the soil you removed, pat to remove large air pockets and water to settle the soil. Check to make sure your plants hasn't sunk a bit; if it has, correct that. 

During the Season 

Italian Stone pines needs about 1" of water per week while they are young and are fairly drought tolerant when mature. 

At the Season’s End

In zones 8-10, simply leave your Italian Stone Pine tree in the garden. In colder regions, bring your tree indoors for the winter. 

Insider Tips

  1. Due to their mature shape, Italian Stone Pines are also known as Parasol Pines and Umbrella Pines. 
  2. Pine nuts develop in the fall. Trees begin bearing nuts at about age 6-8 years and continue for 50+ years.
  3. Nuts from Italian Stone Pines were part of the common diet during Roman times . . . an early snack for those on the go.
shop Italian Stone Pines
shop Italian Stone Pines

Success Snapshot

Light: Full sun to mostly sun sites

Soil:  Average

Depth: Same as surrounding soil

Water:  Average moisture

Uses: Containers and landscape trees in frost-free regions.

Tip: Plant where shade can be enjoyed for years

GUIDE: Italian Stone Pine Planting Guide

They Start Out Looking Like This: