How to Grow Pine Trees


There are hundreds of varieties of pine trees in the world. Some grow in cold areas where winter temperatures fall well below zero degrees F, and others grow in tropical areas. There are pines trees that grow well over 100 feet tall and others that grow as shrubs. Many varieties are grown to be used for Christmas trees, while others are grown for timber or pulp to make paper and other products. Even the bark and needles are useful in the garden as mulch. The key to growing a healthy pine tree is to find one native to your area.

Step 1

Find a location that will give the young tree some afternoon shade but will not shade the tree when established. Some pine trees will tolerate damp sites, but all need well-draining soil. Avoid power lines and buildings if planting a tall pine.

Step 2

Dig a hole three times the diameter and twice the depth of the nursery container. Clear weeds and lawn grass another 6 feet from the planting hole. Clean the dug-out soil of all weeds, grass and stones.

Step 3

Amend the dug-out soil with one part course sand and one part compost to two parts original soil. This will ensure proper drainage of the soil. Fill in the hole with amended soil to the point that the seedling will sit at the same level it is in the container.

Step 4

Carefully remove the tree from the container and set it in the planting hole. Fill halfway with amended soil and water to settle the soil around the roots. Continue to fill until the soil is level with the surrounding ground. Tamp down the soil firmly and water to saturate the disturbed area.

Step 5

Keep the soil evenly moist for two weeks to establish the root system. Continue to water the tree twice a week for the following two months. Then, water once a week for the rest of the tree's first year in your landscape. Water the tree during very hot, dry or windy weather thereafter.

Step 6

Apply a time-release evergreen fertilizer each spring. Follow the manufacturer's directions as to how much to apply per size of the tree.

Step 7

Mulch the entire disturbed soil area, as young pine trees do not compete well with weeds for water and nutrition.

Things You'll Need

  • 2- to 3-year-old pine seedling
  • Shovel
  • Course sand
  • Compost
  • Evergreen fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • University of Washington Extension: Pinus sylvestris L.
  • University of Tennessee Extension: Tree Crops for Marginal Farmland: White Pine
  • USDA Forest Service: Pinus strobus: Eastern White Pine

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida Extension: Common Pines of Florida
Keywords: growing pine trees, planting evergreen trees, Pine tree care

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.