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Aleppo pine thinks it is native.

From coastal regions around the Mediterranean Sea, the Aleppo pine, Pinus halepensis, came to be right at home on and near the coast of California. Once established, it can survive quite happily on rainfall. Trees that get too much water can actually get too heavy with foliage, and may eventually get disfigured if limbs break.

Shade under an Aleppo pine is not too dark. The light and sometimes yellowish green foliage is rather wispy, comprised of thin paired needles that are about three inches long. The sculptural trunks almost always lean to one direction or another, and often divide into multiple trunks once they grow out of reach. Bark is light gray with light brown striations.

Young trees can get big rather fast. They tend to be somewhat conical, or at least upright, until they get to be about forty feet tall. Then, they tend to shed lower stems and develop irregular branch structure with rounded tops as their growth rate slows. Only a few old trees in ideal situations slowly get to seventy feet tall. Seedlings sometimes appear where they are not wanted.

2 thoughts on “Aleppo Pine

  1. I’ve been aware of Aleppo only because of its recent, unfortunate history of war, but I just went in and looked at its UNESCO World Heritage Site page. The first sentence was, “Located at the crossroads of several trade routes since the 2nd millennium B.C., Aleppo was ruled successively by the Hittites, Assyrians, Akkadians, Greeks, Romans, Umayyads, Ayyubids, Mameluks and Ottomans who left their stamp on the city.” It’s so cool to think of people from all of those civilizations — or at least a good number of them — admiring this same tree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some of those people are why the species is not as common as it was prior to their arrival. Not only did they use the lumber, but they exported it as well. It had been a useful species for a very long time.

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