To properly care for pine trees in a pine tree farm, you must be well versed and educated in agriculture and arboriculture. It is important to have quite a balanced education and overall understanding of how trees should be cared for, more specifically pine trees. With that said, many arborists have a general knowledge about pine trees and how to properly care for pine trees in every season. If required, they could even potentially be able to bring back a dying or diseased pine tree to full health. However, what we have found to be extremely critical and important in our study of horticulture over the past 15 years is that arborists who specialize in caring for pine trees have a very deep understanding of pine tree diet and health. Through our own experience we have seen how a balanced approach to tree dieting can drastically improve the overall health of a pine tree. The pine trees on our farm are very hardy and we believe that is mainly due to proper diet and direct sun exposure.
Direct sun exposure is very important to the overall of these evergreen trees. With that said, pines need to be properly spaced in order to receive that direct sunlight, especially during the winter months when there is less sunlight throughout the day. On our farm we have strategically grouped our pines based on the exposure of direct sunlight on the east, west, north and south points of our farm. We have our pinus contorta located in the north, pinus attenuate located in the south, pinus flexilis located in the east and pinus albicaulis located in the west. Each pine grouping requires a different spacing diameter. For instance, our pinus flexilis need to be separated by 6 ft. and our pinus albicaulis need to be separated by 8 ft. Proper separation helps us to balance sunlight exposure based on tree classification.
Pine tree range dramatically in size and therefore should be grouped accordingly for proper tree care. The dwarf mugo only grows to a maximum of 4 ft. when fully matured. Therefore, our team has grouped these pines very close in proximity and we routinely have our trees trimmed and maintained by a local tree service company just over the boarder named Warwick Tree Pros. Our slash pines can grow up to 100 ft. when fully matured. For these pines we have them separated by 30 ft. This spacing allows for lower branches and limbs to receive direct sunlight exposure. Obviously the pines trees on our farm live in favorable conditions which allows them to have a very long lifespan of 100 to 110 years. In fact, the majority of our pines will likely reach over 110 years of age. We also have a small group of bristlecone pine trees which have been known to live for at least 4,000 years which is quite incredible.
In closing I’d like to emphasize that roughly 50%-60% of the health of a pine tree is dependent upon direct sunlight exposure. The other 40%-50% is dependent upon the nutrients that a pine tree receives. In order to be able to properly care for pines trees, one must be well versed in both.