Care of Pine Trees


There are approximately 100 different species of pine trees. Most pine trees in North America grow in the northern United States and in Canada. Some species prefer moist. well-draining soil and some prefer soil that retains water, but most like the soil to be acidic and full of nutrients--preferably sandy loam. Pine trees might have groups of two, three or five needles on their branches, and all produce male and female cones.

Step 1

Stake seedlings and young trees. Seedlings have shallow root systems and need to be planted in an area that is protected from the wind. The taproot grows close to the surface, and as the tree ages, the taproot grows deeper into the ground.

Step 2

Water pine trees with at least an inch of water weekly, to encourage taproot growth and to allow the roots to obtain the proper nutrients and moisture from the soil. If the tree prefers soggy ground and part of your landscaping covers soggy ground, watering is only necessary if the ground dries out.

Step 3

Fertilize pine trees every three years, if needed. Prior to fertilizing, obtain a soil test kit from a local nursery or a big-box home and garden store. Follow the instructions on the soil test kit (instructions might vary from brand to brand) to determine whether the soil is lacking in one or more nutrients. If the soil is lacking, choose a fertilizer based in the lacking nutrient. If the soil test shows that the soil is not lacking in any nutrients, fertilizer is not required.

Step 4

Prune pines grown for Christmas trees for shape while they are young. Pine trees should also be pruned for dead and decaying wood and other plant matter during the spring. Pines that are used as shrubs should be pruned as needed to retain their shape. Shrub pines are pruned in the spring and throughout the rest of the growing season as needed.

Step 5

Spray pine trees with insecticide. Though pines are not susceptible to pests, there are several pests that might infect pines, particularly a pine that is grown out of its native habitat. Pests to watch for include the southern pine beetle, the European pine sawfly, the pine needle scale and the spruce spider mite. If you notice one of these insects, contact a local nursery to obtain the proper insecticide for the pest or pests.

Things You'll Need

  • Tree stakes
  • Fertilizer
  • Soil test kit


  • Pine Trees
Keywords: pine trees, pine tree fertilizer, tree stakes

About this Author

Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.