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Pine Tree Identification

Q: Can you please identify this tree for me? I've been given many pine names by friends and all were way off.

Pine tree

A: Hopefully, one of the names your friends gave you WASN'T Norfolk Island pine, as that is my guess.

Norfolk Island pines (they actually aren't true pines) are sold as houseplants and, at least in my experience, seem to be persnickety. We never had much luck at home with one of these plants, and we haven't had any better luck here in my office -- someone gave us a nice Norfolk Island pine that has also gone to pine heaven.

These trees can get quite big, 50-80 feet tall (up to 200 feet in their native land). They develop an open branching habit like in your picture, so that's why I'm guessing this it what it is.

They are native to Norfolk Island (for you history buffs, this is the island that Fletcher Christian and the other mutineers from the H.M.S.Bounty settled), which is in the southern Pacific Ocean east of Australia. As such, they are tropical plants, preferring Zones 11-12 for their habitat.

Anyway, please let me know if I've guessed correctly. You may have to have a local arborist or horticulturist take a look to verify (or deny) my speculation.

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Tom Mugridge

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