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Foothill Pine
Pinus sabiniana
About Foothill Pine (Pinus sabiniana) Nurseries Show All Photos Foothill Pine (Pinus sabiniana) is a native tree that grows in northern, southern and central California. It is slow growing in nature and moderately long-lived. It grows in an upright form to a height of 80 feet, with active growth during the spring and summer. Flowers are yellow and bloom in the early spring. Leaves are medium green, and remain on the plant throughout the year. It tends to grow in places with poor soils, at elevations from 0-4500 feet.

In landscaping applications, with irrigation even once per month, this tree will grow quickly to 40-60 feet. It's fairly lacey form allows plenty of light to come through, so you can plant understory plants below without much problem.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
20 - 80 ft (6.1 - 24.4 m)

Max. Width
20 - 40 ft (6.1 - 12.2 m)

Upright, Pyramidal, Upright Columnar

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate
Fast, Slow


Gray green, lacy

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
places with poor soils

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
35' - 8867'

Annual Precip. ?
4.3" - 117.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.13" - 3.43"

Coldest Month ?
33.1° F - 55.3° F

Hottest Month ?
55.2° F - 83.9° F

Humidity ?
0.49 vpd - 38.96 vpd

Soil Description
Poor soils, serpentine soils

Soil Texture
Clay, Clay Loam, Loam, Loamy Sand, Sand, Sandy Clay, Sandy Clay Loam, Sandy Loam, Silt, Silt Clay Loam, Silt Loam, Silty Clay

Soil PH
5 - 8

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Serpentine Soil

Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -20 - -10° F

Sunset Zones ?
3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Wildlife Attracted
Great wildlife plant

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low, Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Fine to prune off bottom branches. Prune in winter when wood boring insects are less active.

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: 2-4 mos. stratification; for small lots, cracking seed coats first gives quicker germination ( USDA Forest Service 1974).

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hedges, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
California Foothill Pine, Ghost Pine, Gray Pine

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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