Pistacea chinense - Chinese Pistache

Family - Anacardiaceae

Size - 30 to 35' in height, spread is somewhat comparable. Rounded, somewhat oval in shape. Growth rate is medium to fast, 2 to 3' per year can be expected. The tree in this photo was 8- 10' - 2" caliper when planted on May 1st, 1990 and is one in a row of this parking lot island. Currently (June 1997 photo) it is 15 to 18 feet in height, and has received little if any supplemental irrigation or fertilization.

Foliage - Opposite, even pinnate compound. Dark green in summer, a brilliant crimson red in fall. Fall color can be outstanding. Begins to turn in the latter part of October - first week of November here. This is the same tree just 10 days prior.

Flower/Fruit/Seed - Flowers occur on previous years wood, not showy. Trees are dioecious, separate male and female trees. I've heard that fall color is nicer on the female trees. Fruit is 1/4" drupe, red and ripening in October then turning blue in color. Not overly conspicuous but is noticeable.

Bark - Gray, slightly furrowed and scaley. Burnt-orange toned inner bark.

Pests and Diseases - Have had no pest or disease problems, at least which are noticeable.

Landscape Use - Residential, commercial, municipal, campuses, street tree, golf courses. It's uses are just about unlimited. A tough tree which provides good fall color.

Performance - 10 I would have to rank this tree right up there with Purpleblow Maple and others as a good tough tree which has a lot of ornamental character to offer. It is very adaptable, and is used in to zone 8 and 9. It is drought tolerant and tolerates a wide range of conditions, but will do best in moist well drained soils like most trees. Hardy through zone 6, possibly protected areas in zone 5.


Chinese Pistache

Chinese Pistache foliage

Chinese Pistache with red foliage

Chinese Pistache in the fall

Chinese Pistache