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Chinese Pistache

Pistacia chinensis

Chinese Pistache

Introduction

The lustrous, dark green foliage, bright red fruit (on female trees) ripening to dark-blue, peeling, attractive bark, and brilliant fall color combine to make Chinese Pistache an outstanding specimen, shade, or street tree. Chinese Pistache is usually seen at 25 to 35 feet tall with an oval, rounded canopy and light, opening branching creating light shade.

Use and Management

Fall color is reliably bright red or orange, and makes one of the most brilliant shows of any tree. This is one of the last trees to color in the fall.

The tree needs special pruning and training in the early years to create branches in desirable places along the trunk.

Chinese Pistache has merit for wider use in urban street plantings and in other adverse sights due to its drought tolerance, adaptability, moderate size, and wonderful form and fall color.

Chinese Pistache grows quickly in full sun to partial shade on moderately fertile, well-drained soils, and will withstand heat and drought extremely well. The crown is quite round and symmetrical on older specimens when grown in full sun but becomes misshapen in too much shade – best for full sun areas. Grows in clay, loam, or sand in a wide range of soil pH.

Planting

  • Typically planted in 10, 15, 30, 45 or 65 gal containers.
  • B&B trees are specified in height (6’ – 8’ ht, etc) or caliper (3” cal., etc)
  • Container trees can be double the price of B&B trees
  • Plant container trees in late summer, if price allows
  • Plant B&B trees if they were dug and cured in the winter months

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