Chinese Pistache is the November Plant of the Month!

cp1The deciduous shade tree grows at a moderate rate of thirty-five to forty feet tall and twenty-five to thirty-five feet wide, producing a rounded canopy and attractive branching pattern. Lower branches droop towards the ground at maturity, creating a beautiful, dense crown. In poorly draining soils with bad growing conditions, the tree may only reach about twenty-five feet in height. It produces two-inch, dark green, pointed leaves that turn a brilliant orange and then scarlet before shedding. The flowers are red and attractive, and both the seeds and young shoots of the pistache are also edible. This tree is susceptible to Texas root rot and should not be used in areas where the fungus is present. Double-stake newly planted trees to help them develop a thick trunk. Chinese pistache requires pruning to develop a strong growth structure. This tree will tolerate most soils but prefers sandy, clay, or rich loamy soils that are well-draining.

It will grow well in full sun with plenty of reflected heat and does not do well in the shade. The Chinese pistache is very hardy to below freezing temperatures and needs periodic irrigation during its growing season. Once it is established, it is very drought-resistant. This tree is very low-maintenance except for leaf drop in the winter. Use the Chinese pistache for its amazing dense shade or as a freestanding ornamental. It is a great choice to use for its showy fall color. This specimen can be used as a street, park, or lawn tree. It also works well in parking lots and large commercial locations. The Chinese pistache is a good choice for large spaces where it has ample room to grow. It is native to east Asia in the Philippines and southern China, where it grows along riversides and in cultivated areas in the Himalayas. In the United States, it has been naturalized in Texas.

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