Aleppo Pine Information: How To Grow An Aleppo Pine Tree
By: Teo Spengler
Native to the Mediterranean region, Aleppo pine trees (Pinus halepensis) require a warm climate to thrive. When you see cultivated Aleppo pines in the landscape, they will usually be in parks or commercial areas, not home gardens, because of their size. Read on for more Aleppo pine information.
About Aleppo Pine Trees
These tall pine trees grow naturally from Spain to Jordan and take their common name from a historic city in Syria. They only thrive in the United States in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. If you see Aleppo pines in the landscape, you’ll notice that the trees are large, rugged and upright with an irregular branching structure. They can grow to 80 feet (24 m.) tall.
According to Aleppo pine information, these are survivor trees, accepting poor soil and difficult growing conditions. Drought resistant, they are extremely tolerant of desert conditions as well as urban conditions. That’s what makes Aleppo pine trees the most cultivated ornamental pine in the Southwest United States.
Aleppo Pine Tree Care
If you live in a warm region and have a very large yard, there is no reason why you cannot start growing an Aleppo pine. They are evergreen conifers with soft needles about 3 inches (7.6 cm.) long. Aleppo pine trees have gray bark, smooth when young but dark and furrowed as they mature. The trees often develop a romantically twisted trunk. The pine cones can grow to about the size of your fist. You can propagate the tree by planting the seeds found in the cones.
The one thing to remember if you want to grow an Aleppo pine is to site it in direct sun. Aleppo pines in the landscape require sun to survive. Otherwise, Aleppo pine care won’t require much thought or effort. They are heat tolerant trees and only require deep, infrequent irrigation even in the hottest months. That’s why they make excellent street trees.
Does Aleppo pine tree care include pruning? According to Aleppo pine information, the only time you need to prune these trees is if you require additional space beneath the canopy.
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The role of pine wood in the First Temple is described in 1 Kings Chapters 5 and 6.
Construction of the Temple and royal palace complex was a huge undertaking. In addition to the 30,000 Israelite men that Solomon forced to cut trees in Lebanon, Solomon conscripted 153,600 aliens living in Israel. Seventy thousand men functioned as carriers, 80,000 men as stone cutters, and 3,600 men as foreman (2 Chronicles 2:17-18).
Solomon obtained the pine for the Temple from Lebanon. Similar to the cedar trees used in the Temple, pine trees were made into boards or planks. The Temple floor was covered with planks of pine (1 Kings 6:15). The entrance to the Temple’s main hall was two pine doors (1 Kings 6:33-35). Each pine door had two leaves that turned in sockets. On the doors were carved cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. The carvings were overlaid with hammered gold. The Bible does not specify whether or not pine wood was used for the floors in Solomon’s palace, throne room, and Hall of Justice. Because the building walls were made from cedar, most likely their floors were pine planks continuing the parallel construction of the Temple.
Initially, using pine for Temple floors seems odd. Pine is designated as a soft wood in comparison to oak, a hard wood which was plentiful in Israel. Lebanon pine trees were most likely from old growth forests. The wood would have been heart wood taken from the center of the pine tree versus sapwood at the outside of the tree. Heart wood has “died,” hardened, and ceased to pass nutrients up the tree. It is the hardest and darkest section of the pine tree. Currently, heart wood is used in pine flooring where the wood is cut with the vertical grain. Pine wood can be without knots (clear) or have tight knots or large knots. Tight knots add character and beauty to pine floors without appreciably weakening them. Heart pine ages beautifully it darkens slightly and takes on a soft glow. In the United States, there are pine floors 300+ years of age. The floors have some gouges which add to the character of the floors.
This strange looking pine tree is from the Armenian Seminary Garden in Jerusalem. It is reputed to be the oldest pine tree in Israel.
The Pine Tree
The most likely candidate for the Temple pine is Pinus halepensis, known commonly as the Jerusalem pine and the Aleppo (Syria) pine. Despite these geographical names, P. halepensis has a typical western Mediterranean distribution. Ecologically, Aleppo pines are specialized for low to moderate fertile habitats and thrive in desert heat, drought, and wind. Although the Aleppo pine is tender when young once established it can take near-zero temperatures. The Aleppo pine is an evergreen conifer that is relatively short lived at 70-100 years however, with arbori-cultural care, specimens can live over 200 years. The oldest living Aleppo pine, 215 years old, is in the Armenian Gardens in Jerusalem. The Aleppo pine needle is light green to olive-green. The flower is a cone. Male cone are cylindrical and occur in tight clusters at the tip of branches. Female cones are oval to oblong, 3–4.5 inches long, reddish to reddish purple, and grow on short stocks.
Pines are an emblem of nobility. In a person, noble means the person possesses excellent qualities of the mind, character, ideals and morals. In the Old Testament, certain women were described as noble. Boaz told Ruth he wanted to be her kinsman-redeemer because she was a noble woman (Ruth 3:11). A woman of noble character is described as her husband’s crown (Proverbs 12:4). Proverbs chapter 31 lauded a wife of noble character and concluded that she was worth more than rubies. Some of her characteristics included working with eager hands to meet the food and clothing needs of the household, adding to the financial security of the family by using judgment to purchase a field and making linen garments to sell to the merchants, giving freely to the poor and needy, speaking with wisdom, and acting with dignity.
In a brief exposition on The Kingdom of Righteousness, Isaiah ended with a description of a noble man. He wrote, “But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands” (Isaiah 32:8). From God’s perspective having a noble mind, character, ideals, and morals is not sufficient to be credited as noble. Nobility displays itself in deeds. We look at what a man or woman does to evaluate their nobility
Over two decades ago, I was a manager in a corporation. In a managers’ meeting, a psychiatric nurse gave an education program on team building. One of his remarks was, “always look more at what a team member does than what she says.” Probably what Isaiah and the psychiatric nurse were saying was, “noble is as noble does.” Noble people are more than noble ideals and plans. Noble people produce excellent actions and deeds. Christ said “by their fruits you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:16).
Reflection. Would people looking at your life conclude your deeds as noble?
Aleppo Pine Tree Care - Learn About Aleppo Pines In The Landscape - garden
Aleppo Pine Bonsai Tree care
Site in full sun. All bonsai trees benefits from being shielded from strong winds. Aleppo Pines grow throughout the southern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Near East. Due to this, they are not fully frost hardy and winter protection will be required. Greenhouses, conservatories and sunny porches work well. We personally grow them outdoors in summer and move them into a cold greenhouse as the frosts appear.
Aleppo Pines will grow in a conservatory or sunny porch but not in a household setting. Conservatories and porches can get very hot in summer, so do move the tree outdoors when the temperatures rise.
Again, think Mediterranean. Aim to keep the soil evenly moist, like a damp cloth feels. It never wants to completely dry out but it too much water can damage it, especially in winter.
Aleppo Pines grow two kinds of foliage. The immature foliage is the small needles that you can see. See also the much longer mature needles. As a wild tree the majority of the needles would be the longer mature needles, with the immature needles at the tips. As a bonsai, we only want the immature needles, as the sense of scale is much better with these. Simply trim the mature needles back to the same size as the immature ones. Do not cut off all of the immature needles. You can prune them at any time of year.
The needles grow radially all around the shoots – some needles point upwards, some to the side and some straight down. I like to trim off the downward-pointing needles with scissors.
You will see the new shoots at the end of the branches prune these shoots back to keep the tree in shape. New shoots will grow at the point where you prune. Aleppo Pines back-bud better than many other species of Pine tree.
Branches are very flexible and can be shaped with wire.
Each needle will not live forever. They will live for a couple of years and then die. Clean out the old needles by pulling them off with your fingers. Try to get right inside the tree and keep this are open to allow light and air in.
Aleppo pines have no special requirements with regards to fertilising.
We tend to use a slow release fertiliser on them. We apply Naruko three times per year – in April, June and August.
Repot every couple of years using a general bonsai soil mix. Pines prefer well draining soil.
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Aleppo pine -- Pinus halepensis
Tough and rugged as a movie outlaw, the Aleppo pine's asymmetrical shape, leaning habit, sparse foliage, haphazard branching pattern, and grayish branches and needles contribute to a picturesque image. But it isn't a pretty pine tree.
Native to coastal areas around the Mediterranean basin, the tree historically was more abundant on the west side (Spain, Morocco, Algeria) than around the Middle East, even though its name derives from the Syrian city of Aleppo. It thrives on thin soil and steep slopes, and prefers deserts and seacoasts, where it develops into twisted and bent shapes.
The tree produces copious, pungent sap, called resin, that has been used for millennia to embalm Egyptian pharaohs and transform Greek wines into retsina. Resin of all pine trees also has a long history of use for medicinal purposes, skin treatments and herbal steam baths. The sacred tree of the solar god Attis, temple-close Aleppo pines were decorated for the winter solstice festival as a kind of pre-Christian Christmas trees.
In the late 1800s, the tree was widely planted by early settlers of the Western U.S. It makes a good shade tree in the desert, but in the Southland we use it as an ornamental, often plant it in lawns and so overwater and overfeed it that it sometimes drops a water-soaked branch.
Moderate to fast-growing even in poor environments, the Aleppo pine grows 30 to 60 feet tall and 20 to 40 feet wide. It is an irregularly shaped, open-crown evergreen tree with ascending branches that will live for 150 years. The trunk is lined with silvery gray, orange-dotted, vertical flakes, but the bark is more deeply furrowed near the ground.
The needles are 2.5 to 4 inches long, grayish-green tinted and come in bunches of two, rarely three they face upward in the varieties sold here. When they fall to the ground, the needles make a highly combustible litter. Flowers are inconspicuous female flowers develop into narrow 2- to 3-inch-long green cones, which ripen to a red-brown color over a 24-month period. The tree is drought tolerant, takes any soil and wants full sun. Roots can be invasive.
The tree has few pests the main one is a tiny spiderlike mite of the genus Oligonychus, which causes Aleppo pine blight, a nonlethal affliction in which needles turn brown and die in fall or winter, to be replaced by new ones in spring. Since the Aleppo pine grows where few other trees would, it is an important timber tree in Northern Africa and the Middle East, even if the wood isnâ€™t particularly valuable.
How To Plant And Grow Pine Trees
Pine trees grow in a vast variety of landscapes, and they are loved by landscapers because they typically don’t create a mess, or require a lot of individual care. Care instructions can vary greatly based on the variety of pine tree that you purchase to grow, but the most important thing to check is to make sure you purchase pine tree varieties that are well-suited to your growing zone. Once you have picked out a variety or several varieties that are well-suited to your region,. You will want to look into the specific needs of those varieties, specifically their sunlight and watering needs.
Most pine trees prefer full sunlight exposure, so pick a planting location that receives at least six to eight hours of full sunlight every day. Plant your pine trees in a well-draining soil for best results, but most varieties will adapt to soils with poor drainage, as well as various oil types. The best time to plant your pine trees is in the early parts of the spring or the fall seasons. Be sure to wait to plant them until any chance of frost has passed.