Have you ever wondered whether a pine tree will survive if you take it away from the cold and put it in a warmer environment? Pines traditionally grow in cold climates, usually with snow and ice, so do they tolerate the heat?
Pine trees will tolerate most warm climates, even though they are adapted to survive well in cold weather. The evolutionary features that mean they are good at retaining water make them better able to cope with hot weather. You may even see them on a list of top warm weather plants.
Learning more about pine trees is a great way to expand your understanding of the plants in your local area, so let’s figure out more about pine trees and how they cope with warmth.
Can Pine Trees Grow In Warm Climates?
Pine trees can be grown in warm climates, although almost all are native to cold countries. Only one pine tree comes from the Southern Hemisphere, the Sumatran pine, and even this is found mostly in cold and temperate regions. Few pines grow naturally where the weather is hot – but they can.
Despite having adapted to survive in cold climates, pine trees have an amazing ability to deal with hot weather. Their needles have been designed to minimize the loss of water, with the stomata being set into a crease in the leaf to reduce the amount of air flowing over them. This means that pine trees can cope well with periods of drought.
Most pine trees need to be grown in USDA zone 8 or below, and few will thrive if they are grown in a higher zone than this. There are a couple of pines that will grow in zone 9, such as the Loblolly pine and the Desert pine. However, most will only tolerate hot weather and do not thrive in it; they prefer cool and temperate climates.
If you are going to grow a pine tree in a warm or hot country, you will need to think about:
- How hot the weather gets during the summer
- What species of pine do you want to grow and how well it can tolerate warm weather
- How much shade you will be able to provide the pine with, especially if the weather is hot
- How often it rains and whether this will be enough for the tree
If you’ve taken all these things into account, you should be able to accurately assess whether a pine will grow well in a warm climate or not.
Which Pine Trees Don’t Mind Being Warm?
Some pine trees will tolerate warm weather far better than others, and it’s a good idea to seek these out if you live somewhere warm. For example, you might choose the Canary Pine, which actively enjoys hot weather and is ideal for planting in a sunny spot.
The Majestic Beauty Japanese Black Pine is another good variety if you live somewhere warm, and the Longleaf Pine will usually thrive too.
Some pines can even cope with desert-like conditions, but they will need to be watered well when they are young and getting established. Until they have a deep network of roots that can tap into the water far underground, they are at risk of dying from drought. Once a pine tree is fully established, it can usually tolerate dry weather for extended periods.
Very few pine trees will grow in zones as hot as USDA 10, but the Stone pine can cope with really hot weather and should survive here if it is given enough water when it was young and during particularly dry periods.
How To Make A Pine Tree Grow Well In A Warm Climate
If you’re growing your pine in a climate that is too warm for it, you need to think about providing some shade and plenty of water. Most pine trees prefer to be grown in the full sun when they are in temperate regions, but if you’re growing a pine in a climate that is too warm for it, try to give it at least a bit of shade.
This will help to reduce the heat that it faces each day, and may prevent it from burning. On the whole, pine leaves are waxy and tough, so it doesn’t matter if they are exposed to sunlight, but if they are burning, you’ll need to erect a shield. This is particularly true for young pines, which are less resilient.
You must also make sure that the pine tree gets watered when it is getting established. Even if it rains regularly, the warmth will quickly dry the surface of the ground out, and your tree won’t have deep enough roots to soak up the moisture it needs.
As long as you do these two things, your pine should thrive even in a hot part of the world.
Which Pine Trees Need Cold Weather?
Most pine trees are adaptable enough to cope with a temperate climate, but some really do prefer cold. They will not necessarily die if they are grown in a warm zone, but they will be much happier in cold climates. For example, the Red Pine will survive in zones as cold as USDA 2 and likes the weather to remain cool even in the summer.
Other cold-weather pines include the Limber Pine, the Austrian Pine, and the Japanese Red Pine. These trees will flourish in zones as cold as USDA 4.
Eastern White Pines also prefer cold, although they will tolerate some warmer conditions if they are kept reasonably humid.
Most pine trees can cope fairly well with warm climates, although some may struggle if the temperatures become hot. On the whole, as long as they have enough water and they are protected from blazing heat when they are small, they will grow into resilient trees that can cope with being in a warmer environment than the one they evolved in.