Pinus resinosa

Red Pine




  • native to the Northeastern United States, from Pennsylvania to Canada and west into parts of Michigan
  • cold hardy to zone 2

Habit and Form

  • evergreen tall tree
  • general oval shape
  • multiple lateral branches, which start relatively low to the ground
  • 50' to 70' tall, with varying spreads; can reach in excess of a 100' tall
  • medium texture
  • medium growth rate

Summer Foliage

  • brittle and sharp-pointed needles
  • 2 needles per fasicle
  • margins serrate
  • needles roughly 5" long
  • medium green color

Autumn Foliage

  • no fall color (remains green)
  • needles persist 4 years


  • monoecious
  • no ornamental value


  • light brown cone
  • ovoid in shape, 2" long
  • held alone or in pairs


  • a combination of orange-red, brown, and slivery gray
  • rough scaly bark; scales and plates relatively thin
  • new stem are thick with a yellowish tint


  • prefers a dry, loose, sandy soil with a low pH
  • cold tolerant, but dislikes heat
  • full sun

Landscape Uses

  • attractive ornamental bark
  • can be used as an accent tree
  • not widely used
  • best used in colder, northern states


  • not tolerant of wind or salt
  • red pine scale

ID Features

  • needles in pairs, twisted and serrated, that have a tufted appearance
  • armor-plated bark which peels to reveal a reddish color
  • needles snap very easily when bent


  • seeds germinate very easily, no dormancy period required


'Don Smith' - This is a fine selection of this native species, featuring long green needles, red-brown stems and abundant cones which are colored purple when young. As this plant is hardy to USDA zone 2, it is a good handsome conifer for gardens in cold zones. The habit is dwarf and rounded.

'Globosa' and 'Morel' - These are among the most common dwarf mutations, featuring dense growth and compact mounded forms.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.