Stone Pine Trees In Georgia

Italian stone pine - juvenile foliage and mature foliage

Q: Having visited Italy several times, my wife and I wonder if their lovely stone pine trees would be compatible with the climate here. 

A: Your question immediately brought a memory of sitting with friends enjoying a beer at a small outdoor cafe in Positano. There were six lovely stone pines, Pinus pinea, lined up about fifty yards in front of us, perfectly outlined against the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea beyond. “Walter”, I said to myself, “you are one lucky guy. You could be a sixty-year-old bachelor chicken farmer if things had happened differently.” The stone pine is a prominent part of our travel memories but I’m afraid that is where they must stay. They tolerate temperatures common to Zone 8 (south Georgia) but chilly wet winters are absolutely lethal. This is a Mediterranean plant; it wants dry, cold weather in winter. My recommendation? Buy a bag of pine nuts, point your feet toward a toasty fire, pour yourself a beverage of your choice, close your eyes, and dream.

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