Stone pine is native to the northern Mediterranean coastal region (Southern Europe to Turkey and Lebanon). In the Mediterranean area, edible pine nuts from this pine have been harvested since prehistoric times. Pine nuts may be eaten raw or roasted, and may be added to a variety of culinary dishes.
This is an umbrella-shaped tree that grows in its native habitat to 12-18 m (40-60') tall over time. In youth, it has displays a rounded shrubby form. In its middle years, it develops a thick trunk with an umbrella-shaped crown, often losing its lower branches as its slender trunk grows taller. With age, the top continues to broaden and flatten as trees assume often picturesque umbrella or mushroom like shapes. Mature trees are noted for having reddish-brown deeply-fissured bark.
Bright green (sometimes grayish-green) needles (to 13-20 cm / 5-8" long) appear in bundles of two. Large, broad-oval to nearly spherical cones (to 15 cm / 6" long) ripen to chestnut brown. Cones take 36 months to mature (longest maturation time for any of the pines). Large edible seeds (pine nuts to 2 cm / 7/8" long) are brown with a powdery black coating, and are valued for their size, taste and texture. Although several different species of pine trees are notable for producing quality pine nuts, the nuts from this species are often considered to be at the top of the list.
Information source: missouribotanicalgarden.org
Genus - Pinus
Species - Pinea
Common name - Stone Pine
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 7 - 10
Height - 40'-60' / 12 - 18 m
Spread - 20-40' / 6 - 12 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Evergreen
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Sandy, loam, rocky, well drained
Water requirements - Dry to moist
Landscape uses - In groups, as a screen or as a single specimen, ornamentally attractive form
Bloom season - May - June
Leaf / Flower color - Green / --
1. Place the seeds in a container with tepid water and soak them for 24 hours. Change the water and wait another 24 hours.
2. Put the seeds in a small plastic bag and cover with damp sterile sand or vermiculite. Place the bag holding the seeds in the refrigerator for 6 weels for stratification. Check the sand and water as needed to maintain moisture. Don't allow the seeds to get soaked.
3. Fill small pots with compost. Place one or two pine seeds on top of the compost in each pot, then cover the seeds with a thin layer of sand.
4. Water the sand and compost to add moisture, then place the pots in a warm, sunny location. As the seedlings emerge and grow, the soil needs to remain moist, not wet.
5. Repot the pine trees into medium-sized pots in the fall. Grow them in the pots for the following season until they are large and strong enough for transplanting into the landscape.
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