World Plants Logo

search the world

Woody > Pinus > Pinus nigra > Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana

Pinus nigra

ssp. pallasiana

Pallasian Austrian Pine

Origin:  The mountainous and rocky regions of southeastern Europe, especially Cypress and Turkey where it is currently being heavily used as a reforestation tree.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


Because of its close physical appearance to the straight species (Pinus nigra) and the confusion of it being clearly distinguished, Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana lacks any real interesting characteristics that separate it from one of the most over-used species of pines in Canada. It is much better appreciated in its wild, free growing natural habitat, where its full size and potential can be observed.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 7
Canadian Hardiness Zone
2a - 6b
RHS Hardiness Zone
H6 - H7
Temperature (°C)
-34 - (-15)
Temperature (°F)
-30 - 5
15 - 30 m
10 - 15 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
A tree with the potential to grow extremely tall and widespread. Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana loses its pyramidal form with age and becomes very wide and almost bonsai-like in appearance. Easily identified by its foliage, which is very long and sharp displaying a dark green colour all winter long.
It is used primarily as screening or windbreak because of its large size and spread. It can also be used as a specimen plant; however, it is rarely done anymore because of its overuse in the landscape.
It is extremely tolerant of most soil and landscape conditions. Can be successfully planted and grown in most environments because of its high tolerance to drought, salt, sun exposure and heavy clay soil.
In its early stages of development, like most other black pines, it is relatively uniform and pyramidal in its growth. As it develops further however, it loses that pyramidal form and lower branches as the upper branches become very long and horizontally spreading.
ID Characteristic
Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana can be identified by its long sharp needles and predominant, large white terminal buds. It has long, horizontal stretching branches in its mature years of growth and can be further distinguished from other black pines by observing its cones which are much larger, reaching up to 13 cm in length.
Along with the straight species it is very susceptible to Diplodia tip blight which has greatly diminished the use of Black Pines in landscape or city environments. A pine nematode that clogs the vascular system of Black Pines has also been observed to be a potential threat using beetles as its vector. In these cases, entire tree death has occurred within one season of growth.
Cold, rocky and mountainous regions.
Bark/Stem Description
Holding more ornamental value than most pines, the bark of Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana is dark brown and very textured, accented nicely by its grey to greyish brown flattened ridges.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Its buds are white and very resinous usually 2.5–5 cm in length with an ovoid to oblong shape coming to a pronounced sharp point at the tip.
Leaf Description
The sharp, ridged needles display a lush, glossy, dark green colour usually ranging from 8–18 cm in length, appearing in fascicles of 2.
Flower Description
The flowers appear in tight clusters ranging from 5–7 cm in length. The staminate (male) flowers have a yellowish appearance while the pistillate (female) flowers are more yellowish green.
Fruit Description
The cones can mature in dense clusters or by themselves displaying an ovoid to conical shape usually reaching lengths up to 10 cm with scales up to 5 cm long with a brown colour upon maturity.
Colour Description
The bark displays a dark brown colour with greyish brown ridges. The foliage colour is an intense dark green which holds throughout the colder months. The cones start off with a yellowish tinge that matures into brown with age.
Texture Description
The bark texture can be medium or coarse depending on age of the specimen, while foliage texture is smooth, ridged and very sharp.
Notable Specimens
Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, Ontario, Canada; Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Surrey, England.
The seeds are very hardy and will germinate whenever collected because they have no dormancy restrictions; however, research in Turkey indicates that drying seeds to approximately 3–7% moisture content, from long term storage at a temperature of 3–5 °C, can greatly improve germination success. In this case, seeds were pre-soaked in aerated water for 24 hours and placed in a damp medium in a dark location. After 7 days, more than 50% of seeds had successfully germinated.
Hessayon, Dr. D.G. “The Evergreen Expert”. 1998: Print.