Green Tower Austrian PinePinus nigra ‘Green Tower’
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Pinus nigra ‘Green Tower’
Outdoor Growing zone
The Green Tower Austrian Pine is a very slender, upright column of green needles, reaching 8 feet wide in 10 years, but being hardly more than one foot wide. It has long needles on tightly-packed vertical branches, so the foliage predominates giving a unique ‘hairy’ look to the plant. Grow it as a special specimen for a high-profile position or mix it with other dwarf conifers in a colorful collection of the rare and beautiful. It is also excellent as a specimen in a planter or attractive pot.
The Green Tower Austrian Pine grows best in full sun, in well-drained soil of any type. Avoid low-lying spots, and plant on a slope in heavy clay soils, for better drainage. This tree is hardy throughout zone 4 and it is tolerant of both heat and cold. Once established it is drought resistant and reliable. It has no serious pests or diseases and it needs no pruning to keep its slender form, although it can be candled to make it even denser and more compact, if desired.
Pine trees have a unique form among conifers, and their long needles give a special soft look, quite different from the dense texture of cypress or spruce. Most pine trees are admired for the trunks and bark, as well as their branching structure, but sometimes the needles are the dominant feature, creating a truly unique look that simply cannot be found in any other plant. One look at the Green Tower Austrian Pine will show you just how unique that look can be. Resembling a pillar of unruly green hair, and making a striking accent in any garden, this is a plant that you will love – and love more as it matures into a wonderful specimen, however you grow it.
The Green Tower Austrian Pine grows into a slender pillar of tight, vertical branches, heavily covered with dark green needles. It grows 4 to 6 inches a year, so after 10 years it will be a dense column up to 8 feet tall, but remain slim, so that it will be no more than 18 inches wide. It will continue to grow steadily each year, so that a time will come when you will have a grand specimen in your garden, perhaps 15 – 20 feet tall, but less than 3 feet wide. Unlike some other slender evergreens, the branching structure of this tree is strong and durable, meaning it withstands snow and ice well, with very little chance of heart-breaking damage destroying your mature tree.
The evergreen needles of the Green Tower Austrian Pine are a rich, dark green, and always attractive, no matter what season it is. They are long, usually measuring 4 inches, and if you look closely you can see they are arranged in bundles of two, with a tiny papery sheath wrapped around each pair where it joins the stem. They have a slight twist to them, which makes for a dense look, so that with the tightly packed branching structure it is the needles, and not the stems, that you see. With branching right at the base, it is only after some years that you will begin to see some bark at the very bottom of the tree. This is brown, becoming gray, and darker as it ages, and it is ruggedly split into plates and ridges. It will in time make the base of your tree handsome and attractive, giving it a look of great age.
There are many ways to use the Green Tower Austrian Pine effectively in your garden. Plant it as a strong, eye-catching accent in a bed of shrubs. Place it among the planting on a slope, where vertical plants always look good. Set it in a space in a paved area, or in an area of rocks and gravel. A great, low-maintenance garden feature can be created with a selection of our dwarf evergreens. Choose a range of foliage colors and shapes, from vertical to horizontal, and space them well apart, to allow for their future growth. There is little work needed for such a bed, just sit back and watch your plants mature, providing color and interest every day of the year. You could also grow this plant in a pot or planter box. It would make an attractive specimen in a beautiful pot – just make sure it has drainage, and use a gritty, well-drained soil mixture, such as would be used for cacti and succulent plants.
Grow the Green Tower Austrian Pine in full sun for the best and densest growth. It is hardy in zone 4, so low temperatures don’t bother it, but wetness does. Plant in a well-drained place in any ordinary garden soil, including drier, sandy and rocky soils. Avoid low-lying areas, especially if you have heavier clay soils that tend to hold water. Pests and diseases are unlikely to bother this plant, and no pruning is necessary to keep its dense form and structure. If you want to keep it even more compact, then pinching the young stems with the method called ‘candling’ will reduce growth to just an inch or two and develop an extemely dense structure.
The Green Tower Austrian Pine is a unique form of the Austrian Pine, Pinus nigra. A native of southern Europe from Spain to Turkey, that tree is also found in North Africa. It is long-lived, with trees 500 years old being relatively common. The wild tree can reach 50 to 100 feet in time. This tree was probably brought to America in the late 19th century, and it proved itself be excellent in hot, dry areas, as well as in dealing with urban pollution, and growing in cold, snowy areas too. There are numerous special forms of this plant, often discovered as unique seedlings, and that is the origin of the variety we call ‘Green Tower’. It was found as a seedling by Martin Zimmer of Germany at the end of the 20th century. It was probably a seedling from a variety called ‘Pyramidalis’, which already has an upright form. Horst Jeddeloh, who has a specialist nursery in Gresham, Oregon, brought pieces to America, and grafted them onto seedling Austrian pine trees. From those plants it was spread among conifer specialists. This tree is always rare and hard to obtain, and we were thrilled when we found a supply of such a special plant. We have a loyal customer base for our unique conifers, and these plants will soon be gone. Order now and grow a truly unique plant in your own garden.