Pistache, Chinese Pistacia chinensis
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Hardiness Zones 6 - 9The Chinese Pistache can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Type of treeOrnamental Trees, Shade Trees
Mature HeightThe Chinese Pistache grows to be 25' - 35' feet in height.
Mature SpreadThe Chinese Pistache has a spread of about 25' - 35' at full maturity.
SunThis pistache does well in full sun.
SoilThe Chinese Pistache grows in acidic, alkaline, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, sandy, silty loam, well drained, wide range, clay soils.
ShapeThis pistache has oval, rounded, spreading or horizontal, vase shape.
This is a tough tree with very good fall coloring that survives urban conditions fairly well and does well in all but the most northern zones.
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.
Used by Xeriscape (dry landscaping) gardeners as a critical addition for wildlife. The seeds provide food for small rodents and birds while the flowers provide food for insects.
This tree is popular in California and it is also used as the understock for commercial pistachio growers. It has been described as the "Ugly Duckling" because it turns from an unattractive and misshapen young tree into a magnificent specimen tree.
The Chinese Pistache grows well in drought conditions and withstands heat quite well.
The leaves of the Chinese Pistache are lustrous and dark green in summer and a beautiful orange to red in the fall.
The Chinese Pistache has green blooms that are not showy.
The Chinese Pistache blooms in April and May.
The female Chinese Pistache produces a small, round (1/4" diameter) orange to red nut.
Rate of growth refers to the vertical increase in growth unless specified differently. Rate, as is true for size, is influenced by numerous variables such as soil, drainage, water, fertility, light, exposure, ad infinitum. The designation slow means the plant grows 12” or less per year; medium refers to 13 to 24” of growth per year; and fast to 25” or greater.Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, by Michael Dirr.