Pronounciation: PIE-nus pie-NAY-a
Landscape Use: This pine casts a light shade and has a rounded symmetry that is great for parks and residential neighborhoods. Also, makes a fine bonsai tree.
Form & Character: Evergreen, decurrent pine with a rounded, globular habit even when young becoming more wide spreading with age.
Growth Habit: Very slow when young to moderate with age eventually reaching heights of 40 to 60 feet with a somewhat greater spread such as this mature specimen in Toulouse, France. Heights in Phoenix more towards 30 feet range.
Foliage/texture: Needles two per fascicle, 5 to 6 inches long, juvenile needles small blue and and persistent when tree is young, not present on older, mature trees; fine texture.
Flowers & fruits: Monoecious (male and female strobili born on same tree), cones are ovoid shaped to 5 inches.
Seasonal color: None
Light: Full sun
Watering: Little supplemental irrigation once established, needle luster (length and density) enhanced with supplemental water during summer.
Pruning: Elevate canopy base
Disease and pests: None
Additional comments: Italian stone pine is an absolutely tough lollypop-shaped pine that can be used in coastal or desert areas in the American southwest. However, it is not a commonly found in the Phoenix area for reasons that are not clear to me - it's a great pine for the desert mesic and oasis urban landscape. Italian stone pine has tasty pine nuts. The tree has been cultivated for its nuts in Europe for over 6,000 years, and harvested from wild trees for far longer.