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The umbrella pine is a tree characteristic of the Mediterranean regions, the shape of which is reminiscent of a parasol.
In summary, what you need to know:
Last name : Pinus pinea
Family : Pinaceae
Type : Conifer
Height : up to 20 m
Exposure : Sunny or partial shade
Ground : Non-calcareous and well drained -Foliage : Persistent
The fruit, the pine nut, is widely used in cooking and that is why it is sometimes called, as such, pine nut.
Planting umbrella pine
Umbrella pine is usually planted in autumn, but it can also be up to month of March-Aprill outside of frost periods.
- Umbrella pine likes dry soils and dreads wetlands
- It needs good drainage and can be planted in a mixture of soil and sand
After planting, you can mulch the base to prevent weeds from invading their base.
- The umbrella pine, if it can withstand temperatures in the order of -10 °, fears frost for young trees
- In both cases, maritime pine bark are perfectly adapted but quite different mulching will perform this function perfectly.
Stone pine pruning
The umbrella pine is a conifer whose size is large enough to merit some advice. Relatively slow growing, the umbrella pine can be pruned to be a parasol even though it should naturally take this shape.
Stone pine can die if pruning is done incorrectly.
Maintenance pruning of umbrella pine:
This pruning consists of removing the dried twigs as you go, the weakest branches and those that tend to grow downwards.
Pruning takes place more in the fall, before the onset of cold weather and frost, but it can also take place in summer after the spring shoot.
- The branches of the lower floors can be cut by systematically leaving the last 2 upper floors of branches
- The umbrella pine is lightened in order to let the sun and light pass through the heart of the conifer.
- This is like removing the less vigorous branches, those that grow inward and / or cross.
- We also favor a balanced size by giving a harmonious and natural shape to the umbrella pine
Once the branches have been pruned, the wounds are sealed with healing putty, of the Norwegian tar type, to limit the occurrence of disease and fungus
Top a parasol pine:
The question is often asked whether or not you can top a stone pine.
The answer is no for the simple reason that if you top an umbrella pine it dies.
- Watch out for the growth of this conifer if you have neighbors because it can quickly become problematic
- Also find our hedge trimming advice
To know about the umbrella pine
Pinus pinea is well known for its parasol-shaped silhouette and so characteristic of mediterranean landscapes.
Its reddish-brown bark, dividing halfway up, is just as ornamental as its bright green foliage.
But that's not all to make this conifer theone of the most majestic for its fruits also find use. We use the pine nuts in the kitchen, especially in pastry or salad, for the subtle taste of this almond and its health benefits.
- The fruits of the umbrella pine only mature once every 3 years
- Spain is, as such, the world's largest producer of pine nuts.
Finally, note that if the umbrella pine is a Mediterranean tree, it will have difficulty growing by the sea on the Atlantic coast, not for the cold but because of the wind which tends to break the rather fragile branches of the umbrella pine. So prefer the maritime pine.
Parasol pine diseases
Few, we nevertheless find the processionary caterpillar pine
- In the fall, there are silky whitish nests that cause rapid yellowing of the needles
There is no real treatment for the processionary caterpillar.
- It is necessary to remove the infested branches as you go and destroy them
- Use gloves because contact with caterpillars causes stinging skin reactions, or even respiratory reactions
- The known chemical treatment remains the spraying of Bacillus thuringiensis
- Warning ! This attack can doom an entire umbrella pine tree
Parasol pine is readily used in shade tree provided you have a sufficiently large plot because, as an adult, it can measure more than 10 m in circumference.
Photo © fatmanphotouk