The Q&A Archives: Austrian Pine Usage

Question: We are trying to build a natural looking "fence" in full sun area, formally woods still borders wooded area. What we need to know is, "Can we keep Austrian Pines cut to approximately a 7' height and still retain their health?"

Answer: Unfortunately, I don't think this would work in the long run, since these trees can grow to 100 feet at maturity and the constant cutting would be stressful on them.

Instead, if you want a pine "look" you might consider some of the naturally smaller pines such as Pinus mugo, also called Swiss Mountain or Mugo Pine. These are very cold hardy and depending on variety, will stay short. They are also a bit slower growing, but that is a trade-off against the annual shearing you would need to do until the others simply became too big and would need to be removed.

You might also consider yews or junipers, both typically shorter growing -- meanign not a tree -- needled evergreens. Yews lend themselves well to clipping to a uniform height if required, and junipers are available in a multitude of mature sizes as well as different shades of green, blue and gray foliage.

Your county extension and local nursery professionals may also have some suggestions as to what would grow well in the location you want to plant and also provide the visual effect you have in mind. Good luck with your project!

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