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Pistache, Chinese Pistacia chinensis

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Zones 6 - 9 Zones 6 - 9
Hardiness Zones 6 - 9
The Chinese Pistache can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Ornamental Tree Ornamental Tree
Type of tree
Ornamental Trees, Shade Trees
25' - 35' High 25' - 35' High
Mature Height
The Chinese Pistache grows to be 25' - 35' feet in height.
25' - 35' Spread 25' - 35' Spread
Mature Spread
The Chinese Pistache has a spread of about 25' - 35' at full maturity.
Medium Growth Medium Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a medium growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This pistache does well in full sun.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil
The Chinese Pistache grows in acidic, alkaline, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, sandy, silty loam, well drained, wide range, clay soils.
Oval Shape Oval Shape
Shape
This pistache has oval, rounded, spreading or horizontal, vase shape.
Attributes

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.

Description

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.

Wildlife Value

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.

History/Lore/Use

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.

Moisture

The Chinese Pistache grows well in drought conditions and withstands heat quite well.

Leaves

The leaves of the Chinese Pistache are lustrous and dark green in summer and a beautiful orange to red in the fall.

Flower Color

The Chinese Pistache has green blooms that are not showy.

Bloom Time

The Chinese Pistache blooms in April and May.

Fruit Description

The female Chinese Pistache produces a small, round (1/4" diameter) orange to red nut.