Information About Chinese Pistache


Pruning Chinese Pistache: How To Prune A Chinese Pistache Tree

By Teo Spengler

Chinese pistache pruning isn’t difficult once you understand the basics of the tree’s growth pattern. Click the following article for information about cutting back Chinese pistache including tips on when and how to prune a Chinese pistache tree.


Chinese Pistachio in Texas

Even those of us who feel that having a plant that is adapted to our locale is a lot more important than having one that is native, have to admit that most of our good landscaping trees are, indeed, natives. Chinese pistachio is the exception.

Texans first sampled this tree many, many decades ago. My first experience with it was in a home garden in North Dallas in the early 1970s. I’d been asked to write a story on a particular tree in a lady’s front yard. When I arrived, I realized that the mature plant was a Chinese pistachio, obviously 30 or 40 years old even then. It was the same size and shape as a mature Shumard red oak, and its fall color was beautiful. (As I left the neighborhood, I noticed a dozen or more seedling trees that had come up in others’ yards and hedgerows.)

The big push toward Chinese pistachios started in the 1980s. It has hit full stride in the past 20 years. Now, they’re common in new landscaping in almost every city in the state.

Here are one guy’s observations on this fine tree:

• Growth rate is moderate to moderately fast – comparable to most high quality oaks, for example.

• Mature size: 40 to 50 ft. tall and wide.

• Fall color: scarlet red. Better some years than others.

• Female plants produce large numbers of colorful, red fruit. Male plants do not bear fruit.

• Container-grown trees establish more quickly and easily than balled-and-burlapped ones.

• New Chinese pistachios tend to grow rather leggy initially. You may occasionally need to tip-prune their growing tips one time to force them to produce side branches.

• As with Shumard red oaks, trunks of new Chinese pistachios MUST be protected with paper tree wrap from the nursery or hardware store to guard against sunscald and subsequent borer invasion. Leave the wrap in place a year or two.


Why is my Chinese pistache spindly?

Fall color on Chinese pistache. Steven George

Q: My Chinese pistache tree is about 10 feet tall and spindly. — G.S., Huffman

A: This beautiful tree can be rather gangly when young. It will fill out in a few years. Some gardeners shape their young trees to encourage proper branch spacing and structure. But even without pruning, most make nicely shaped trees on their own. Learn more about this pest-resistant tree at texassuperstar.com. See pruning details at plantanswers.com/garden_column/feb03/2.htm.

Kathy Huber has worked for the Houston Chronicle since May 1981. She was Features Copy Desk chief before becoming the first full-time garden editor for the paper in 1988. She writes a weekly garden Q&A and feature stories.

A Texas Master Gardener, she's the author of The Texas Flower Garden, published by Gibbs-Smith in 1996. She's been a frequent speaker at various garden events.

A native of Moultrie, Ga., she graduated from Queens University of Charlotte, formerly Queens College. She did graduate work through the University of Georgia system.

She is married to photographer John Everett and they have one son.


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TLC • Memorial
105 W. Memorial Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73114

(405) 751-0630

Monday-Saturday | 9am to 6pm
Sunday | 11am to 6pm

TLC • Northwest
8208 Northwest Expressway
Oklahoma City, OK 73162

(405) 720-0091

Monday-Saturday | 9am to 6pm
Sunday | 11am to 6pm


Growing to a mature height of 50 to 80 feet and canopy spread of 22 to 30 feet, the Chinese pistachio is a more slender, upright tree in its youth. It has pinnate, or feather-like, leaves comprising 10 to 12 pointed leaflets of leathery dark green. In mid- to late spring, both male and female trees bear aromatic flowers that are tiny clusters of reddish green on branch tips. By mid-autumn, the pollinated female flowers develop into tiny, rounded, red fruits that mature to blue. The glossy foliage blushes intensely yellow, orange and scarlet red before dropping off to better reveal the grayish-brown bark.

Plant Chinese pistachio trees in fast-draining soil that has some fertility, one that already supports any type of plant growth, including weeds or grass. For best growth and shape of your developing tree, full sun is best--a location with at least eight hours of direct sunlight daily. This tree is widely adaptable and tolerant to acidic, neutral and alkaline soils as well as to landscapes often plagued by heat and drought. It is appropriate for use in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 9, or zone 10 in the more arid summer regions of Mediterranean climates.

  • Growing to a mature height of 50 to 80 feet and canopy spread of 22 to 30 feet, the Chinese pistachio is a more slender, upright tree in its youth.
  • Plant Chinese pistachio trees in fast-draining soil that has some fertility, one that already supports any type of plant growth, including weeds or grass.

Pistacia chinensis ‘Red Push” Pistache #FREEPLANTING!

If we could give this tree a high five, we would! Yes, we love the Red Push Pistache variety and so do our customers. It got its name because as new foliage emerges in spring, it is reddish before the leaves turn into the rich, dark green color in the summer and back to red in the fall! Anyone looking for a beautiful shade tree with lots of stunning fall color can do no wrong with this top tree for Arizona. If you want this tree now, take advantage of our #freeplanting service! We are the largest box tree grower in America that can bring the trees to your house and plant them for you! Our professional designers will help you design and plant your yard with specimen Red Push Pistache trees!


Watch the video: How to plant a potted tree


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