Scientific: Pistacia lentiscus (Synonyms: Terebinthus lentiscus, Lentiscus vulgaris)
Common: Mastic tree
Family: Anacardiaceae
Origin: Mediterranean region

Pronounciation: Pis-TA-she-a len-TIS-cus

Hardiness zones
Sunset
8-9, 12-24
USDA 9-11

Landscape Use: Small- to medium-sized evergreen tree (with copious training), background screen

Form & Character: Stems and branches are amazingly limber and flexible. It is broadly spreading which limits its usefulness in small urban spaces, yoga tree.

Growth Habit: Woody, evergreen perennial small tree, moderately slow to 25 feet with greater spread.

Foliage/texture: Glabrous, leathery, pinnately compound foliage, 3 to 5 pairs of leaflets, 1 inch long, oblong to elliptic, petiole winged; medium coarse texture.

Flowers & fruits: Inconspicuous flowers, clusters of small red fruits ripening to black.

Seasonal color: None

Temperature: Tolerant

Light: Full sun

Soil: Well drained, avoid caliche.

Watering: Give infrequent deep water to regular lawn watering conditions.

Pruning: Mastic tree is pruned and trained in many different ways depending on the intention of landscape use. For example, if the intent is to use mastic tree as a standard or multi-trunk small landscape tree, then it will demand much time to train into an upright arborescent habit and afterwards to maintain that habit of appearance over time. Sometimes however 'hort clods' will "punt like it's 4th down and long" and decide it's just easier instead to aggressively shear it into some formal shape.

Propagation: Cutting, seed

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Mastic tree is the lesser known and least available of the pistache landscape tree species in the Phoenix area. Due to its spreading habit of growth, finding the "right" use, "right" location for this otherwise tough pistache species can be a real design challenge. In any regard, it WILL (though environmentally tough and tolerant) demand time and attention to train into and maintain the intended shape.

In my humble opinion, this tree is a bonafide botanical member of the 'Fantastic Four' with its flexible and bendable branches and stems.