How Tall Do Pine Trees Get?

Mist covered in western red cedar and douglas fir pine treesIf you're currently planning your garden and would like to plant pine trees, you're probably wondering "How tall do pine trees get?" This is an important thing to consider to create an aesthetically pleasing garden. We've done the research, and we'll explain it in this post.

In general, regular pine trees end up between 50 to 100 feet at full maturity, while dwarf pine trees typically range between 3 and 10 feet tall. Here are the heights of a few of the most common types of pine trees:

  • Italian cypress: 65 feet
  • White spruce: 70 feet
  • Ponderosa pine: 100 feet
  • Scots pine: 130 feet
  • European larch: 140 feet
  • Western red cedar: 200 feet
  • Douglas fir: 250 feet

You might also be wondering about other pine tree-related questions, such as whether you can grow them as bonsai, how long it takes to grow them as lumber, and whether a dwarf pine tree might be the right choice for your garden. Have no fear - we've answered all of those questions right here!

Click here to view Douglas fir seeds on Amazon.

One of the most common types of pine tree is the Douglas fir. Averaging 250 feet tall, they're also one of the tallest! However, this stately tree is also grown as a holiday tree and harvested long before reaching full maturity. If you'd like to plant it in your backyard, just make sure it's growing on well-drained, clay-filled soil.

Click here to view white spruce seeds on Amazon.

White spruce is native to North America and averages around 70 feet tall, although it can reach 130 feet in ideal conditions. They appreciate moist, acidic soil and grow in the classically conical pine tree shape. The wood of these pine trees is often used for houses, furniture, pallets, and musical instruments.

Click here to view Scots pine seeds on Amazon.

Tall and majestic, Scots pines originated in Eurasia but are now grown throughout the world. They reach 130 feet at full maturity but are harvested at a much younger age to become holiday trees - they're actually the most popular holiday tree in North America! If you plan to plant a Scots pine in your garden, make sure it's in a sunny spot.

How Do Pine Trees Compare To Other Trees In Terms of Height?

On average, pine trees are a bit taller than deciduous trees. To clarify, deciduous trees are trees that lose their leaves in the fall, such as maple, elm, or oak. Although height varies a bit based on the type of pine tree, most pine trees are taller than deciduous trees and grow to be between 50 and 100 feet tall. The tallest deciduous trees tend to be between 50 and 80 feet tall, with a few, such as the elm tree, reaching heights of 100 feet.

What's A Dwarf Pine Tree?

Dwarf pine trees are slow-growing pine trees that never grow to be more than 10 feet tall. They are perfect for small spaces, and they come in several varieties, each with different size ranges:

Dwarf Bosnian Pine

Small and round, dwarf Bosnian pines can range between 4 to 10 feet tall and wide. They'll add a whimsical look to any garden.

Click here to view this dwarf Bosnian pine on Amazon.

Mugo Pine

Click here to view this mugo pine on Amazon.

These diminutive pine trees are about 3 to 5 feet tall but can spread to be up to 10 feet wide, which makes them a great ground cover.

Dwarf Austrian Pine

Click here to view this dwarf Austrian pine on Amazon.

Dwarf Austrian pines are a little bit larger at 5 to 10 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet wide. They're a great choice if you like the look of a traditional pine tree but don't have enough space for one that is full-sized.

Evergreen shrubs are another great option if you're low on space, but want to add the color and look of pine trees to your garden. You can get some ideas from our article about fast-growing evergreen shrubs.

Are There Bonsai Pine Trees?

Bonsai is a type of tree cultivation originating in Japan that involves trimming trees into different shapes and smaller sizes. Pine trees are actually one of the most common and traditional types of bonsai, according to Bonsai Tree Gardener. Many dedicated bonsai growers even grow pine trees as a nod to this ancient practice. Most types of pine trees can be used as bonsai, although some, such as the Japanese Black Pine, are more popular than others.

Even though pine trees are one of the most popular and traditional choices for bonsai, they are quite challenging to grow and not the easiest choice for beginners. However, they make such a great addition to your home or garden that learning to care for them is well worth it.

Click here to view this bonsai pine tree on Amazon.

Will Topping A Pine Tree Kill It?

Topping a tree refers to trimming off all of the topmost branches to encourage the growth of smaller limbs. This works on some varieties of trees, but even though it won't kill a pine tree, it's generally not a good idea to do it. For one thing, pine trees are supposed to be wedge-shaped and topping would ruin this shape. Pine trees are also prone to infection, and cutting off the majority of their upper limbs leaves them wide open to damage.

There are, however, a few situations in which removing a large number of top branches can be beneficial. If the tree sustains a large amount of damage to its topmost branches, they should be cut back to just above the healthy ones to save the life of the tree. Care should be taken, though, because if most of the crown is removed the tree will never return to its natural shape. Strategic pruning of the topmost branches can also help restore a pine tree's natural shape that may have been lost due to uneven sunlight or heavy snow.

Click here to view these pruning shears on Amazon.

How Long Does It Take To Grow Pine Trees For Lumber?

The length of time it takes to grow pine trees for lumber depends on the type of tree and the purpose of the lumber. A Douglas fir takes about 50 years to grow to full maturity - and the right size to be harvested for lumber - while they only take 7 or 8 years to grow tall enough to be harvested for holiday trees. A southern yellow pine, on the other hand, only takes 20 to 30 years to grow to full lumber size.

Before you go, be sure to check out our post about what to plant under pine trees as you continue planning your garden.

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