Pinon (Pine)

Pinon Tree

Pinon Tree

Scientific names:
Mexican Pinon = Pinus cembroides
Singleleaf PinonPinus monophylla
PinonPinus edulis
Parry PinonPinus quadrifolia

Description: All four species are small bushy evergreen trees with short trunk, horizontal branching and rounded crowns. Found in semi-arid regions of the west. Sometimes called Mexican Nut Pine, it is native to both Arizona and New Mexico, where the seeds are harvested and sold as nuts. Once a staple food of southwestern Indians, Pinon ranks first among the native nut trees of the United States that are not also cultivated. In autumn pine nuts are harvested by local residents for local and gourmet markets. It occurs in mixed or pure stands of woodland in foothills, mesas or canyons, & often on dry, rocky ridges. It does well in cultivation, a wide variety of soil and moisture conditions, is winter-hardy, slow-growing, and very long-lived.

Needles: are 1 to 1/2 inches long, and grow singly on Singleleaf Pinon, in pairs on Pinon and Mexican Pinon, in fours on the Parry Pinon.

Pinon Needles

Pinon Needles

Needles have smooth margins, except for Mexican Pinon which has finely toothed edges.

Cones: 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, irregular roundish shape

Fruit: Large edible seeds; reddish to yellow-brown, oval to globular, 1-3 inches long, scales thick, resinous, seed diversely shaped, 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches long, oily, brown to black.

Height: 20 to 35 feet tall

Elevation: Elevation: 4000 to 9000 feet.

Water Requirements: 12 inches precipitation equivalent, drought-tolerant, will not tolerate high water table. Once established, requires no additional water.

Pinon Fruit

Pinon Fruit

Soils: Dry, rocky, gravelly soils. Adapted to a wide range of soils and moisture conditions.

Uses: Windbreaks, food and cover for man, wildlife food and habitat, especially for squirrels, pinyon jays, bears, & deer. Pinon pine is suitable for ornamental and recreational plantings. It is useful as a screening element, especially beautiful and ornamental in landscaping.


Pinon Cones

Pinon Cones


Pinon Bark

Pinon Bark

10 comments “Pinon (Pine)”

Great website for kids!

is this tree a evergreen or deciduous??????

Does anyone know the intervals and factors that stimulate the production of pinion nuts in the Pinion Tree? I have searched but never found a credible theory on these factors.

My pinons and ponderosa pines have brown candles that are dry and can be washed off with a stream of water. On the pinons, the brown candles are somewhat hollow. I planted the trees about six years ago, and I live in Santa Fe.

I’m wondering do I have spider mites or do I need to water the trees more?

I would like to get a couple of single leaf pinion pines.
do you sell retail
online and if need the price
bob gardner

Sorry, no TNM does not sell retail.

Hi Luke, The pinon pine is evergreen

Hi Joe, Here is link about pinon nuts that you might find useful. Thanks!

Hi Lynn, Sounds like you may have something, but you should contact an arborist in your area to come see your trees in person and diagnose them.

Hi Lynn, Also be careful about over watering. Pinon and Poderosa Pines mainly get their water from rain or snow melt. During the summer months if you have not had rain in a month, do one deep water and then let it be until another month goes by. Thanks, Sue

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