The Afghan Pine (Pinus eldarica) is also known as Desert Pine, Eldarica Pine or Mondell Pine. Afghan Pine is native to low rainfall areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and southern Russia. In fact, when planted in areas of high rainfall (> 20” per year), it becomes susceptible to a number of diseases and rapidly declines. This problem has occurred in East Texas. The Afghan Pine thrives in heat, wind, and tolerates drought. Afghan Pine must be planted in soils with good drainage like sand. It is not suitable for poorly drained heavy clasy soils.
Afghan Pines are generally pyramidal or Christmas tree shaped in form when young
becoming more oval or irregular with age.
The leaves of the Afghan Pine are evergreen needles usually found in groups of 2 per fascicle or sheath.
Needles are shed after several years and make excellent mulch as they fall around the trees base.
It has attractive trunk bark that becomes dark and furrowed with age.
Afghan Pines can add 1′-2′ new growth per year and reach 40′ tall and 15′-20′ wide. Afghan Pines are useful as specimen trees, windbreaks, or visual barriers.
The Afghan Pine is best grown in full sun on well drained soils with low to regular water. It is hardy to USDA Zone 6.
Contact Trees That Please Nursery for availability and pricing.
Photos & Narrative By:Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist
The article was intriguing and I went to visit this tree farm by driving a Ford Pinto all the was there from El Cajon CA. They gave me a great tour, explained their biggest customer was Saudi Arabia who wanted to plant trees on some arid mountains in the west near the Red Sea to attract more rainfall. This of course was based on observations of areas where vegetation was removed and rainfall patterns decreased. The price for each tree grown, specially packaged and shipped by Air was $15.00 each. Quite a price for a Nursery plant where it was common even at many retail nurseries fetched only $1.99 a one gallon potted tree.
Beautiful tree. I often unconsciously thinking about it when I see scenes of the horrible state of affairs on the news items on War in Afghanistan. I think of the potential for turning that landscape around and making things productive for those folks. Unfortunately multiple oppressive ideologies disagree.