7 Evergreen Pine Trees You Can Grow or Find in Indiana

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Written By Shannon Campbell

Off-Grid Gardener & Food Forager

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Evergreen pines add consistent color and texture to your landscape. This is true even in the coldest parts of the year when other trees and plants die back or shed their leaves.

What’s more, they are highly useful in landscape gardening, as their year-round foliage tends to work wonders as privacy screens, hedges, shade trees, and more.

There are plenty of evergreen pines that can be planted in Indiana or found growing wild throughout the state.

Let’s take a look at some of the foremost Indiana pine trees that best suit the IN climate.

7 Lovely Evergreen Pines For The Indiana Landscape

1. Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)

Red Pine Tree Pinus resinosa
Image by S. Rae via Flickr

A classic-looking conifer, the red pine is an eastern native named for the attractive red tint of its bark. This narrow pine tree has an oval, asymmetrical crown and a tall, straight trunk.

It is also the state tree of Minnesota, where it is often called the ‘Norway’ pine, and has a history of usage as pulpwood and timber – in the 1930s, it was widely used to build telephone poles all across the northern US.

The red pine is hardy and low maintenance and can live between 300 and 500 years. While it is not a common landscaping plant, it can be planted as a windbreak or to define property lines, and adds a splash of color in areas with particularly harsh winters.

These trees don’t need much to thrive – well-draining soil and full sunlight are the two most important elements that will help the red pine to establish itself.

Other Common Names: Norway Pine, Pin Rouge, Canadian Red Pine, American Red Pine

Growing Zones: 3-7

Average Size at Maturity: 50-80 feet tall, with a 20-25 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Late Fall

Available at: Nature Hills

2. Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Scotch Pine
Image by Andreas Rockstein via Flickr

The scotch pine was one of the first pine species introduced to North America, according to the Oregon State University Department of Horticulture Extension. So it’s no wonder that this handsome pyramidal evergreen is a classic of the northeastern and central northern landscape.

Its bright, gray-green needles and flaky, textured bark are an attractive addition to properties in cooler climates.

This tree is useful for both commercial and landscape planting – in Europe it is a valuable timber tree, and in the US and Europe, it is frequently used as a Christmas tree. In landscape gardening, scotch pines are best used as specimen trees, windbreaks, or as an anchor plant for foundation and border planting.

Scotch pines are fairly adaptable trees, able to grow in a variety of soil types. What’s most important is that they are planted in acidic, well-draining soil in a spot with full sun.

Other Common Names: Norway Fir, Scotch Fir, Scots Pine, Baltic Pine, Baltic Redwood, Archangel Redwood

Growing Zones: 3-7

Average Size at Maturity: 60-70 feet tall, with a 30-40 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Nature Hills

3. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) Tree, Foliage and Pine Cones
Images via Fast-Growing-Trees, combined by Fern Berg for Tree Vitalize

IN gardeners with plenty of space to spare may want to consider the eastern white pine for their landscape. This towering evergreen behemoth is the largest native conifer in the eastern United States and can be found growing natively throughout Indiana. It has many benefits for US homeowners – it is fast-growing, long-lived, hardy and adaptable, and highly valuable as a source of timber.

The eastern white pine is recognizable for its dense clusters of soft bluish-green needles, ridged bark, and a naturally aesthetic, rounded form in maturity. Gardeners have plenty of options for using this pine too: as a focal point in wider landscapes, specimen plants, shade trees, privacy trees, and more.

While it can tolerate partial shade and poor-quality soil, for best results plant this pine in moist, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH and full sun exposure. Keep an eye out for signs of blight, canker, and white pine blister rust, the latter of which can have fatal effects.

Other Common Names: Northern White Pine, Soft Pine, North American White Pine, White Pine, Weymouth Pine

Growing Zones: 3-8

Average Size at Maturity: 50-80 feet tall, with a 20-40 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Early Fall

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

4. Shore Pine (Pinus contorta)

Shore Pine
Image by Gertjan van Noord via Flickr

Typically found growing along coastlines, the shore pine is guaranteed to add some striking visual interest to your property that you won’t get from most pine species. It has twisted, contorted branches and a highly irregular, sprawling growth habit – no two shore pines ever look the same. It can be grown as both a shrub and a tree.

The shore pine can be planted as a single specimen for shade, a focal point for your garden, or as a visual screen or windbreak. It is often used as a miniature bonsai tree due to its contorted, malleable shape. It’s also extremely tough, able to withstand heavy wind, salt spray, and drought.

These trees are highly adaptable, able to thrive in most soil conditions, whether wet or dry. They are an excellent option for spots with poor quality, infertile, and even water-logged soil.

Other Common Names: Twisted Pine, Contorta Pine, Beach Pine, Black Pine, Scrub Pine

Growing Zones: 2-7

Average Size at Maturity: 35-40 feet tall, with a 20-25 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Nature Hills

5. Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Jack Pine
Image by S. Rae via Flickr

Another of the few pine trees that are native to Indiana, the jack pine is only found growing wild in a narrow border of sand dunes around Lake Michigan. Elsewhere, it has purposefully been planted in areas that were formerly mined and deforested. It has a flat, spreading growth habit in maturity, giving it the look of a large shrub.

Despite its value as a native tree, it is not a favorable pine species for landscape use. It’s almost ragged-looking foliage and dull, yellow-green winter needles mean this tree offers very little ornamental value for the Indiana gardener. It is mostly planted as a commercial crop for timber and pulpwood.

One of the greatest benefits of the jack pine is its extreme cold hardiness, as it is able to grow in winter temperatures as low as -50 degrees F. Gardeners who do choose to plant the jack pine on their property can choose virtually any soil type, as long as it is relatively well-draining.

Other Common Names: Gray Pine, Banksian Pine, Prince’s Pine, Black Pine, Black Jack Pine, Scrub Pine

Growing Zones: 2-6

Average Size at Maturity: 30-70 feet tall

Fruiting Season: Fall

6. Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida)

Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida)
Image by Plant Image Library via Flickr

A northeastern native that now grows wild in Indiana, the pitch pine is a hardy conifer that also has an irregular growth habit, similar to the shore pine. Its branches have a tendency to twist and contort in different directions, adding a uniquely attractive element to the landscape. Like the shore pine, it is also considered an excellent option for bonsai trees.

Pitch pines grow at a rate of one foot per year, and live for up to 200 years. Because of its unusual shape, it is most often planted as a specimen in home gardens. It is also used commercially for lumber and wood pulp, and its prolific seeds attract many birds and small mammals.

This tree is unfussy about growing conditions and is often found in dry, poor-quality soil where other pine species cannot grow. For best results, plant your pitch pine in rich, moist soil with an acidic pH in an area with full sunlight.

Other Common Names: Northern Pitch Pine, Torch Pine, Hard Pine, Black Pine, Sap Pine

Growing Zones: 4-7

Average Size at Maturity: 40-60 feet tall, with a 30-50 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Early to Mid Fall

7. Virginia Pine (Pinus virginiana)

Virginia Pine
Image by Matt Borden via Flickr

The virginia pine is the last of the three pine trees native to Indiana (alongside the jack pine and eastern white pine). However, it is only native to the southernmost parts of the state, found in rugged hill areas.

This pine tree has a somewhat shabby, unruly growth habit that does not offer much in terms of ornamental appeal. Instead of landscape gardening, it is often used for reforestation purposes, naturalization, and providing food and shelter for local wildlife.

However, IN gardeners who do want to plant the virginia pine will be pleased to know that these conifers are hardy and highly adaptable, able to grow well in virtually any soil conditions, and needs little care or attention once established.

For best results plant in well-draining, neutral to acidic soil with full sun or partial shade. The saplings should be well-watered but can be left alone once fully established.

Other Common Names: Spruce Pine, Scrub Pine, Jersey Pine, Possum Pine

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 15-40 feet tall, with a 10-30 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

A Pine For All Seasons

Whether you want a fast-growing privacy screen or some winter color, these evergreen pine trees have got you covered! From the majestic eastern white to the singular pitch pine, these 7 excellent pine tree species grow both wild and cultivated in Indiana.

And if you’re looking for more trees to plant on your Indiana property, take a look at some of the best native and common trees that grow throughout the state.

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Shannon Campbell

Off-Grid Gardener & Food Forager

Shannon has always loved looking after trees and plants since as long as she can remember. She grew up gardening with her family in their off-grid home and looking after her neighbor's plant nursery. As a child she also participated in native tree replanting, and as an adult has volunteered in reforestation programs in northern Vietnam. Today, she puts her horticultural efforts into tending her vegetable and herb gardens, and learning about homesteading and permaculture. When she’s not reading, writing, and gardening, she’ll be out fishing and foraging for edible flora and fungi in the countryside around her home.

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