How to Care for an Afghan Pine Tree

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The Afghan pine (Pinus eldarica) is a fast-growing, evenly proportioned evergreen often used as a Christmas tree. It reaches heights of 30 to 50 feet and a width of up to 25 feet at maturity. This tree is tolerant of drought and actually does best in dry soil. It makes an excellent windbreak and is an ideal choice for gardeners who live near the ocean, as salt spray has no ill effect on the Afghan pine.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic mulch
  • 12-6-4 fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

Dig a hole equal to the depth and 1 foot wider than the Afghan pine's rootball.

Place the rootball into the soil at the level at which it was growing in its original container. Backfill and tamp down firmly to eliminate air pockets. Add enough water to moisten the soil all the way to the roots.

Add a 2-inch layer of organic mulch around the tree, beginning approximately 5 inches from the trunk.

Water once each week for the first year after planting unless there has been substantial rainfall. Once the tree is established, it will only need to be watered during extremely dry weather.

Feed in early spring or late autumn with 12-6-4 fertilizer applied at a rate of 1/3 pound for every foot of height. Work the fertilizer into the top inch of soil, but do not allow it to touch any part of the tree. Water thoroughly after feeding.

Cut new growth back by two-thirds in early spring if gaps develop in the foliage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plant the Afghan pine anytime from spring until early autumn.

References

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