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Pinus sabiniana (California Foothill Pine)

California Foothill Pine, Digger Pine, Ghost Pine, Gray Pine

Pinus sabiniana, California Foothill Pine, Digger Pine, Ghost Pine, Gray Pine, Evergreen Conifer, Evergreen Shrub, Evergreen Tree,
Pinus sabiniana, California Foothill Pine, Digger Pine, Ghost Pine, Gray Pine, Evergreen Conifer, Evergreen Shrub, Evergreen Tree,
Pinus sabiniana, California Foothill Pine, Digger Pine, Ghost Pine, Gray Pine, Evergreen Conifer, Evergreen Shrub, Evergreen Tree,

Pinus sabiniana (California Foothill Pine) is a medium-sized evergreen coniferous tree of open, airy habit with a sparsely leaved, irregular to round crown. Its silver to olive-gray needles, up to 6-12 in. long (15-30 cm), are presented in loose bundles of three. They are shed every 2 to 3 years. The chocolate-brown cones are quite massive, typically 6-12 in. long (15-30 cm) and they may exceed 2 pounds (1 kg). They open slowly, shedding seeds over a period of several months. The seeds are an important diet item for various birds and rodents. The seeds were important in the diet of California Indians. The ridged and scaly bark is dark brown, often tinged purple. California Foothill Pine is self-pruning, and its lower branches are often a considerable distance above the understory. Slow-growing, and tolerant of heat, drought, and air pollution, California Foothill Pine makes an excellent specimen tree. It is also a good choice for coastal and interior gardens. Native to California, California Foothill Pine is distributed from Siskiyou County south through the foothills of the Klamath, Cascade, and Coast Ranges and the Sierra Nevada to Ventura County. It occurs naturally on exposed, dry, rocky slopes at elevations from 100 to 6,000 feet (30-1,800 m).

  • Grows up to 20-80 ft. tall (3-24 m) and 20-40 ft. wide (6-12 m).
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade in dry, well-drained soils. Requires little supplemental summer water (once a month). Tolerates poor soils and serpentine soils. Highly drought tolerant once established. Moderately tolerant of salt spray.
  • Keep an eye out for pitch canker, mistletoe, western gall rust, armillaria, aphids, California five-spined engraver beetle, and verticillium. Deer resistant.
  • No pruning is required.
  • Propagate by seed. Seeds require cold stratification for approximately 30 days prior to germination.
  • Native to northern, southern, and central California.

Requirements

Hardiness 8 - 9
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Conifers, Trees
Plant Family Pinaceae
Genus Pinus
Common names Pine
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' - 80'
(6.1m - 24.4m)
Spread 20' - 40'
(6.1m - 12.2m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants California, United States
Tolerance Drought, Deer
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Coastal Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Pinus eldarica (Afghan Pine)
Pinus edulis (Pinyon Pine)
Pinus strobus ‘Contorta’ (Eastern White Pine)
Pinus rigida (Pitch Pine)
Pinus pungens (Table Mountain Pine)
Pinus elliottii (Slash Pine)

Recommended Companion Plants

Quercus douglasii (Blue Oak)
Achillea millefolium (White Yarrow)
Rhamnus ilicifolia (Hollyleaf Redberry)
Quercus agrifolia (Coast Live Oak)

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Native Plant Alternatives to Pinus sylvestris (Scotch Pine)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 8 - 9
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Conifers, Trees
Plant Family Pinaceae
Genus Pinus
Common names Pine
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' - 80'
(6.1m - 24.4m)
Spread 20' - 40'
(6.1m - 12.2m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants California, United States
Tolerance Drought, Deer
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Coastal Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Pinus (Pine)
Not sure which Pinus (Pine) to pick?
Compare Now

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