Corsican Pine Pinus Nigra Maritima
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PINUS NIGRA – Black Pine
Pinus nigra can grow to around 30m (100ft), although this depends on growing conditions. While it is a hardy conifer, resistant to salt water spray and industrial pollution, Corsican pines in particular struggle to reach their full potential if they do not receive sufficient sunlight. As a result, plantations are regularly thinned out to ensure the trees grow as quickly as possible.
These trees are typified by their long needle-like leaves, grey bark and cones. Ripening cones are green and closed but by the time they are mature, around two and a half years later, they have opened and turned brown. Like the trees themselves, these mature cones have also grown in popularity as ornamental pieces.
Where to grow
Black Pines will grow on a wide range of soil types from almost pure sand to much heavier wet conditions. They are extremely hardy and will tolerate wind, exposure and cold.
Did you know?
The European black pine, Pinus nigra, has a number of subspecies, with the Corsican pine (Pinus nigra subspecies maritima) and the Austrian pine (Pinus nigra subspecies austriaca) being two of the most commonly grown pines now in Britain.
Introduced in the 18th century as a parkland tree it has become an important forestry tree being the softwood tree of choice as the less knotted Corsican Pine form in Southern England on sandy heaths in particular, its timber is used in general building work and also in plywood.
Austrian pine is has a more branched habit and while this makes for a knotty timber it leads to a better windbreak.
- Mature height
- Very Large - 20 metres+
- Growth rate
- Soil type
- All soil types
- Sun levels
- Full sun
- Difficulty/hard to grow
- Season of interest
- Moisture levels
- Drought tolerant
- Good for Coastal sites
- Good for Windy sites
- Good at altitude
- Parkland Tree
- City/Urban Sites
- Timber producing
- Wind break
- Sound Barrier
For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.
The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water. It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree. In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.
One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass. When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree. It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one metre wide completely free of grass. The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:
- Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup. Apply each year for the first 3 years. It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
- Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this. This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.
Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem. Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.
If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree. Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm. The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots. Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.
Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.
- 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
- 100/125, 125/150 1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
- 150/175 1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
- 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
- All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.
Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping. These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens. Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.
Protection from Animal Damage
Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees. Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge. Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.