Chinese Pistache Tree

Nutty Gardening with the Chinese Pistache Tree

The Chinese pistache tree is an ornamental type that is very popular in warm climate zones. It is related to the nut producing West Coast pistachio tree, however it does not produce actual nuts. On the bright side, the Chinese pistache tree is probably one of the most beautifully colored trees during the fall. As the name suggests, the tree is native in China but has increasingly been planted in the Southern US where the weather conditions are optimal. It was discovered by the Western World in the early 1900’s and due to the fact that it withstands many natural conditions such as heat, wind and storm, it has become very popular in our gardens.

The Chinese pistache tree is often planted to beautify gardens because the green leaves turn into a color explosion during fall: yellow, golden, and finally a spectacular red! The tree is also popular among gardeners because it is virtually pest-free and grows very rapidly.


The Chinese pistache tree is also a very stable and endurable plant, being able to survive in strong winds and storms. Thus, it is a low-maintenance, beautiful and fast-growing plant and can easily be planted in your garden.

The best time to plant the Chinese pistache tree is during spring or fall. As mentioned earlier, the southern regions of the US are a great location to plant the tree because it needs a very sunny spot and a lot of light to grow. You should ensure that the soil cannot soak in any way, but it should always be a little damp.

The soil is not of primary importance because the Chinese pistache tree has become used to many different types over the years. You will find that the beauty that you expected does not show all that much while the tree is still young and in early stages of growth. It looks rather twiggy and grows in weird shapes. However, as time goes by you will see how the tree develops a majestic umbrella-like growth and will gradually become the stunning masterpiece you hoped for. The first 3 to 5 years are the most critical ones as the tree grows slowly and needs a lot of attention in terms of staking and trimming. You must also ensure that the tree has enough space to spread roots and branches. Once this early phase is overcome, the tree can grow up to 3 feet every year.

There is certainly the option to buy a 3 or 5 year old tree and transplant it into your garden. That way you can avoid all the trouble of planting and caring for the roots. However, planting a tree from scratch has a special feeling to it, and there is not much you can do fatally wrong with this rather stable variety.


While the soil is not all that important, a top layer of mulch is always beneficial (this layer should not touch the actual trunk, though). To ensure a fuss free growth you may want to make sure that your soil is permeable and is not too heavy. Remember that soaking can be fatal!

The Chinese pistache tree represents what we all look for during the fall: colorful leaves, graceful shape and majestic landscapes. It really spreads the feeling of changing season and introducing the flow to the idyllic winter period where we celebrate Christmas and snuggle up inside with a cup of hot chocolate. Because the Chinese pistache tree is not only stunning but also fast growing, it is great for a new home or a young family that will grow with the tree.


 

 


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