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How to Plant Eldarica Pine Trees

The Eldarica pine tree (Pinus eldarica), also called the Afghan, Mondel, Elder or Calabrian pine, is a pyramid-shaped pine with widely spaced branches. The Eldarica pine can tolerate wind, drought and heat, growing best in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10, where winters are milder and minimum annual temperatures don’t drop below minus-5 degrees Fahrenheit. Growing 30 to 60 feet tall and 25 to 40 feet wide, the Eldarica pine tree is grown for use as Christmas trees and for windbreaks. This pine tree has dark green, stiff, long needles and 3-inch oval or oblong reddish-brown cones.

Select a planting site for your Eldarica pine tree that’s in full sun and has deep, well-draining soil. Ensure that the location has plenty of room for the Eldarica pine tree to grow to its aforementioned mature height and spread.

Dig a planting hole that’s twice the width and depth of the root ball. Loosen the soil in the bottom of the hole and mix into the displaced soil some sandy loam soil, so that you have equal parts native soil and sandy loam.

Remove the Eldarica pine tree’s root ball from the burlap or nursery container. Set the root ball into the planting hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the ground.

Backfill the planting hole with the amended displaced soil. Water the soil deeply to soak the soil around the roots.

Water your Eldarica pine tree deeply to thoroughly moisten the soil to the depth of the roots once every two to three days during the first month. Gradually decrease your watering frequency thereafter to once per week for the rest of the first year.


Feed your Eldarica pine tree twice each year in the spring and the fall with an all-purpose tree fertilizer, such as a 12-4-8 NPK (Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium) formula. Follow the dosage and application directions on the label.


Watch out for insects infesting your Eldarica pine trees, especially during the first few years of planting them. Eldarica pines are most susceptible to bark aphids and mites. You can spray the Eldarica pine tree with a horticultural oil or an appropriate insecticide to get rid of these pests.

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