Are you looking for a medium-sized, landscape shade tree that will have amazing fall color of fiery yellows, oranges, and reds? Then, the Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis) is an excellent choice, and these trees are suitable for planting throughout South Carolina.
The pistache is cold hardy, pest and disease resistant, and a fast growing tree. With good management, they may add as much as 2 to 3 feet of growth each year. Chinese pistache grows to 25 to 40 feet tall and 25 to 30 feet wide at maturity, and once established, they are very drought tolerant. Many pistache trees line the main highway through Clemson, and they tolerate the confined planting areas quite well.
Pistache trees are dioecious, which means that there are separate male and female trees. If both male and female trees are planted, the female trees make an abundance of small fruit in large clusters. The colorful fruit start out green in late summer, turn to red, and finally to a robin’s egg blue in fall. The fruit hang down in large clusters with bright red stalks.
The fall is the best time to plant one or more of these magnificent trees in your landscape. For more information on proper planting procedures, please see HGIC 1001, Planting Trees Correctly. For more information about trees and their fall colors, please see HGIC 1029, Color Changes in Autumn Leaves.