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Woody > Pinus > Pinus canariensis > Pinus canariensis

Pinus canariensis

Canary Island Pine

Origin:  Native to the Canary Islands, Spain.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


Canary Island pine is an attractive tree when grown in proper conditions. They are heavily adapted to their place of origin and are an important part of their ecosystem. It has an important role in irrigation and fire resistance, making them a commonly used tree in areas at risk for wildfires. These pines require dry warm environments and will not survive harsh Canadian winters. When conditions are suitable, they make a gorgeous architectural specimen. - Emma Arsenault

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


Tree (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
9 - 11
Canadian Hardiness Zone
Requires cold season protection under glass.
Temperature (°C)
- 6
Temperature (°F)
15 - 25 m
6 - 9 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Canary Island Pine is a tall, straight pine, that has a columnar to conical shape, with open foliage. Long-upswept branches are covered with linear, flexible needles and scaled bark that is red brown to slate grey with dark brown to black fissures. Cones are typical of a pinecone and are a glossy bright chestnut brown colour.
In the proper environment it is commonly used as an architectural feature or a specimen plant, and in its native habitat as a windbreak.
When being grown in its preferred environment, it can be a very tolerant tree to growing conditions. It will grow best in full sun, moist-well drained soils but it's not particular about soil pH levels. It is a considerably drought tolerant tree but will thrive if given regular deep irrigation.
The shape ranges from a columnar form to conical. It has a somewhat open branching.
ID Characteristic
This can be quite a distinct pine, but there are 3 particularly easy ways to identify the tree. Canary Pine needles are quite flexible and long ranging from 15–30 cm and come in fascicles of 3. The long slender columnar form, with upswept branches that have an upward-facing cone at the end are also unique to this tree
Canary Pine is a host to several pests typical of pine. The tree is a major host to both Dothistroma Blight and Pine Needle Blight, both cause browning of needles and premature leaf drop that can weaken and kill the tree. Pine woody aphid is a minor risk, which causes yellowing of foliage and sooty mold. Minor risk pest is Pine Processionary Moth, this defoliator reproduces quickly and can severely weaken the tree allowing other pests to easily kill the tree.
As the name suggests this pine is native to the Canary Islands in Spain, which is a sub-humid Mediterranean climate that is defined by its hot dry summer and seasonal rainfall. The region it extends starts at the coast and ranges to elevations of 2042 m but are most abundant between elevations of 1243-1798 m above sea level.
Bark/Stem Description
Rugged in appearance, the bark has deep dark brown to black fissures, with patchy red-brown and slate grey thick scales. These branches will create an open, uplifted form.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Due to the adaptation to forest fires, this pine has epicormic buds and shoots that grow directly out of the trunk.
Leaf Description
Depending on growing conditions, yellow green to medium-green needles will be around 15-30 cm. They grow in fascicles of three and are retained for three years. As the needles age they will start to bend creating a pendulous look in contrast to the upswept branches.
Flower Description
Being a monoecious tree, only 15-20 year old trees will bear the male and female flowers from late March to early June. Male flowers are small, spiked, and yellow green in colour that come in crowded masses at the ends of branches. Female flowers usually only grow in groups up to 3, purple red in colour and oblong shaped.
Fruit Description
Attached to the tree via a short thick stalk at the end of the branches, the slightly curved cones point up to the sky and are 10-20 cm long. The colour of them is a deep glossy chestnut brown and are quite hard to the touch.
Colour Description
Many deep vibrant colours make this tree remarkable. Foliage that ranges from bright yellow green to a deep glossy green is a beautiful backdrop to male flowers that are a light-yellow green and female flowers that are a unique purple-red colour. Cones are a deep dark, glossy chestnut colour that differs from the red, grey, and brown colour interest the bark offers.
Texture Description
This tree is quite fast-growing and therefore is soft textured.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Historically the Canary Island pine was mostly used for water retention. The gorgeous glossy cones are commonly used for Christmas ornaments and fallen leaves are used by several companies to pack bananas for shipping.
Lambert A.B., A Description of the Genus Pine, William Stevens Printer, Bell Yard, temple Bar London, UK, 1842, Pg 45. Pinus canariensis / Canary Island Pine, March 1, 2021,