Even though we often associate Pine trees with the dense forests of the Rocky Mountains or the green East Coast, there are many Pine trees that grow all over Texas.
It’s very common to find forests of Pines in the Panhandle or in the fertile soil of Eastern TX, and since there’s so many kinds of Pine trees, there are Pines that grow in every region of TX. The state spans USDA zones 6-10, each zone with a different climate and soil composition.
Texas is so vast and diverse, which allows for many kinds of Pine trees to grow. Therefore, this article is just an introduction to the many types of Pine trees that can grow in Texas.
Eastern White Pines are very hardy evergreen trees that grow very well in western and northern Texas, and all over the country. They can only grow up to zone 8, so anywhere south of Austin will be too warm for these trees.
These trees are typically found growing in moist and well-draining soils. This is also why Eastern White Pines don’t grow well in the south, because the sandy and loose soil is difficult for these trees to grow in.
The Eastern White Pine can grow very quickly and are also highly drought resistant, which leads to them living for over 100 years. They also attract lots of wildlife like squirrels, porcupines, or rabbits who come to eat the bark.
As a young tree, these Pines grow in a pyramidal form, but as they get older their crown fills out and becomes an oval-shaped dense crown.
Other Common Names: Weymouth Pine, North American Pumpkin Pine, North American White Pine, White Pine
Growing Zones: 3-8
Average Size at Maturity: 50-110 ft tall by 20-40 ft wide
This Pine is similar to the Eastern White Pine as it also only grows to zone 8, so anywhere further south than central TX won’t have these trees, including the southeast regions of the state.
Austrian Pine Trees are often grown for landscaping because they make great privacy trees with their thick crown of needles. This dense and strong crown helps the tree stand against strong winds and creates a solid windshield.
Austrian Pines are very adaptable trees that can grow in a variety of soils, from loose sandy soils to heavy clay soil in northeastern TX. They’re also very drought tolerant and tend to keep deer away.
Other Common Names: Black Pine, Calabrian Pine, Corsican Pine, Larch Pine, European Black Pine
Growing Zones: 4-8
Average Size at Maturity: 40-60 ft tall by 25-40 ft wide
Loblolly Pine is native to the southeast U.S., along the gulf states, but can grow further north above the coastal plains. Since it ranges from zones 6 to 9, it can grow all over Texas, although it prefers to grow in loamy or loose, sandy soils.
Loblolly Pines are very popular for landscaping because they work well as privacy trees, but also because they grow so quickly and can easily fill your yard. Loblolly Pines can grow up to 2 feet per year!
They have a darker bark than most species of Pine and a very strong fragrance. Be aware that Loblolly Pines are pretty vulnerable to hosting southern pine beetles in their bark, which can damage the trunk.
Since Loblolly Pines are native to the southeast, they play a large role in that ecosystem and are often home to or food for many kinds of wildlife.
Other Common Names: Oldfield Pine, Bull Pine, Rosemary Pine
Growing Zones: 6-9
Average Size at Maturity: 60-90 ft tall by 25-35 ft wide
Since the Eldarica Pine can grow in zones 6 through 10, it can grow in every part of Texas! Although this tree is most common in central TX and western TX, because it really thrives in regions with hot temperatures and dry soils.
Although this Pine is originally native to Central Asia, it grows really well throughout the southern U.S. and has become very resilient. These Pines are highly drought tolerant and can handle high winds or intensely hot summers.
Eldarica Pines are evergreen trees with dark green pine needles and a mildly strong pine fragrance. With the right living conditions, these trees can live for over one hundred years, making them a long-term home to many kinds of wildlife!
Other Common Names: Afghan Pine, Mondel Pine
Growing Zones: 6-10
Average Size at Maturity: 60-80 ft tall by 15-25 ft wide
Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees
This dwarf Pine grows in northern TX and mostly throughout central TX, but it doesn’t have a strong heat tolerance, so it won’t be found growing much further south than Austin.
It does, however, have a high adaptability for soil types and will grow in many different soil compositions and pH levels.
These Pines are super common for landscaping because they’re very compact- even at maturity- and grow very slowly. They’re also very low maintenance and never drop their pines, so they remain as little Pine shrubs all year long!
Dwarf Mugo Pines are great for growing in containers and small yards, or placed around front yard landscaping. There are many types of dwarf Pines, but Dwarf Mugo Pines are one of the most popular and if you see a “dwarf Pine”, it’s most likely a Dwarf Mugo.
Other Common Names: Dwarf Pine, Drooping Cone Pine, Mountain Pine, Swiss Mountain Pine, Mugo Pine
Growing Zones: 2-8
Average Size at Maturity: 3-5 ft tall by 6-10 ft wide
Canary Island Pine trees are some of the rarer types of Pines that prefer growing in warmer and drier conditions. These Pines only grow in southern TX and can only survive as far north as Austin.
These trees are highly drought tolerant, but often only grow in coastal areas, receiving its moisture needs through the humid air. These Pines only grow in the U.S. along the southeast coast, southern Florida, and the coasts of southern California.
Which makes sense, because these trees are native to the Spanish Canary Islands, which are a string of islands off the western coast of Africa. So, these Pines can handle the heat, but need lots of moisture in the air.
These Pines are also very fast growers and can reach their mature height in just a few years! They grow vertically, with high-reaching branches that form a full crown.
Other Common Names: Pino Canario
Growing Zones: 9-11
Average Size at Maturity: 50-80 ft tall by 20-30 ft wide
Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees
Longleaf Pines are classic east TX trees that can be found in large forests all over that region, just west to Trinity county. These Pines grow best on dry and sandy soils, mostly along the hilly coastal areas but will also grow inland on the flatwoods.
Longleaf Pines grow vertically, with very tall trunks and a short, rounded crown. Their crowns are usually quite irregular because the needles are very heavy and weigh down the branches.
The needles are so heavy because they’re super long, in fact Longleaf Pines have the longest needles of any Pine in the U.S.! These long needles help form a protective canopy when these trees grow together in a forest.
In response to frequent wildfires, Longleaf Pines have been “built by fire.” They’ve developed a strong outer bark that protects the innerwood from being burnt and drop “fire resistant” seeds.
Other Common Names: Georgia Pine, Longleaf Yellow Pine, Southern Yellow Pine, Longstraw Pine, Hill Pine, Hard Pine
Growing Zones: 7-10
Average Size at Maturity: 80-100 ft tall by 30-40 ft wide
Available at: Nature Hills
These trees are most common in Culberson and Hudspeth counties in western TX, growing on rocky limestone soil. Although Pinyon Pines can be found growing all across the Trans-Pecos region.
There’s also a Mexican Pinyon Pine (Pinus cembroides) that grows in these areas, but these two aren’t related.
Pinyon Pines have long, dark green needles that stay on the tree for up to eight years.
Pinyon Pines are where pine nuts come from (which are actually seeds)! You may have seen these little white nuts in grocery stores, or in pestos, but these are the nut trees they come from. These nuts are also very attractive to wildlife, since they have thin shells that come off really easily.
Otherwise, the wood of this tree is very light so it isn’t used very much in constructing things, but it does make good firewood and or fenceposts.
Other Common Names: Nut Pine, Two-Needle Pine
Growing Zones: 4-8
Average Size at Maturity: 10-20 ft tall by 8-10 ft wide
Shortleaf Pine is another native Texas tree and it’s commonly found in the hills of northeastern TX. The well-draining soils of eastern TX are perfect for this Pine and allow it to grow in forests all over this part of the state.
Shortleaf Pines have a particular look, with dark brown and reddish bark and slightly blue-green needles. They have long trunks with dense and compact crowns at the very top of the tree.
The wood of Shortleaf Pines is really strong and heavy, so it can be used for many different kinds of construction. Interestingly, this wood is also commonly used in creating veneers!
Other Common Names: Shortleaf Yellow Pine, Southern Yellow Pine, Shortstraw Pine, Arkansas Pine, Spruce Pine
Growing Zones: 6-9
Average Size at Maturity: 60-90 ft tall by 20-35 ft wide
Table Comparing Texas Pine Tree Varieties
Here’s a table summarizing nine types of Pine trees that grow in Texas including their growing zones, average size at maturity and a handy description.
|Variety||Description||Growing Zones||Average Size at Maturity|
|Eastern White Pine||Hardy evergreen, grows well in western and northern TX, prefers moist, well-draining soils. Pyramidal form in youth, becomes oval-shaped with age. Attracts wildlife.||3-8||50-110 ft tall x 20-40 ft wide|
|Austrian Pine||Grown for landscaping, providing privacy with thick crown. Adaptable to various soils, drought tolerant. Resistant to deer.||4-8||40-60 ft tall x 25-40 ft wide|
|Loblolly Pine||Native to southeast U.S., grows in zones 6 to 9. Quick-growing, used in landscaping. Dark bark, strong fragrance, vulnerable to pine beetles. Important for ecosystem and wildlife.||6-9||60-90 ft tall x 25-35 ft wide|
|Eldarica Pine||Grows in all parts of Texas, thrives in regions with hot temperatures and dry soils. Highly drought tolerant, can live for over 100 years. Evergreen with dark green needles and pine fragrance.||6-10||60-80 ft tall x 15-25 ft wide|
|Dwarf Mugo Pine||Grows in northern and central TX, adaptable to various soil types. Compact, slow-growing, low maintenance, and evergreen. Popular in landscaping, especially for small spaces.||2-8||3-5 ft tall x 6-10 ft wide|
|Canary Island Pine||Prefers warmer, drier conditions, grows in southern TX. Drought tolerant, requires humid air. Fast-growing with a vertical form and high-reaching branches.||9-11||50-80 ft tall x 20-30 ft wide|
|Longleaf Pine||Classic east TX tree, grows on dry and sandy soils. Tall trunks with a short, rounded crown. Long needles, adapted to frequent wildfires. Provides habitat and food for wildlife.||7-10||80-100 ft tall x 30-40 ft wide|
|Pinyon Pine||Common in western TX, grows on rocky limestone soil. Produces pine nuts, attractive to wildlife. Light wood used for firewood and fenceposts.||4-8||10-20 ft tall x 8-10 ft wide|
|Shortleaf Pine||Native to northeastern TX, grows in hilly areas with well-draining soils. Distinct look with dark brown and reddish bark, dense and compact crowns. Wood is strong and heavy, used in construction and for veneers.||6-9||60-90 ft tall x 20-35 ft wide|
With resources like the Texas Tree ID, you can learn tons about many more kinds of Pine trees that grow in Texas.
The northern part of the state has forests with many kinds of trees that are completely different from the desert dwellers of the western part, still different from those in central TX and those in the flatwoods of eastern TX.
This great diversity of Pines in Texas is representative of the range of trees, and overall plant life, that thrives in TX and also calls it home. The Pines listed here are just a glimpse into the many flora and fauna that are also Texans!
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Peyton considers trees not just as plants that provide shade or yummy fruits, but as necessary for a healthy life and community.
Peyton has done most of her research on environmental politics, but recently has shifted her focus towards actual agricultural practices, learning about ideas like agroforestry, food forests, and permaculture gardening.
She’s most often in the kitchen whipping something up, but otherwise can be found on long bike rides or doing research.