Aleppo Pine

Pinus halepensis

Aleppo Pine

Image credit: J Donnelly

Aleppo Pine is a large, fast-growing, evergreen tree that invades native vegetation.

It is the same species as the Lone Pine at Gallipoli and has been planted widely in Australia at war memorial sites. 

Aleppo Pine is a declared weed under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (NRM Act).

Description

  • trees grow to over 20 m in height. At maturity the diameter of the trunk is typically 0.6 m and rarely up to 1 m
  • easily distinguished from other pine species by the needles which are bright green, 6 to 12 cm long, curved and twisted, commonly in pairs and joined by a 1 cm basal sheath
  • single trunk divides into smaller branches that produce a circular crown
  • bark appears scaly and grey with a red underside
  • reproduces only by seed. Seeds are contained within cones which often occur in dense groups, hanging below branches
  • seeds are shed mostly in summer but also in response to physical disturbance such as fire or felling
  • seeds are produced prolifically and mostly fall within 50 m of the parent tree. Seed in the soil will deteriorate after the first wet season, but seeds retained in cones can remain viable for 50 years
  • trees can germinate in established native vegetation, but more usually after disturbances such as tree removal and fire.

Impacts

  • highly invasive in native vegetation including woodlands, grasslands, mallee and coastal dunes
  • once established it forms dense thickets which displace other plants
  • the oil from fallen needles and shade from the canopy suppress the growth of native plants underneath Aleppo Pine
  • dense infestations are a fire hazard, with flammable cones and dead lower branches often retained on trees for many years.

Distribution

  • grows mainly in regions with annual rainfall between 350 and 700 mm
  • the tree is adapted to rocky limestone soils but will grow well in a range of other soil types
  • present throughout the southern Mount Lofty Ranges where it has been planted as an ornamental tree, often in association with war memorials
  • feral populations are spreading with significant infestations on Brown Hill Creek, Cudlee Creek, Black Hill and Norton Summit
  • infestations have developed on the Fleurieu Peninsula at Sellicks Hill, Rapid Bay, Normanville, the Willunga Basin and Onkaparinga Estuary.

How to control this weed

  • trees may be controlled by felling or stem-injection of herbicide
  • younger infestations can be treated with herbicide or by cutting with a brush-cutter
  • follow-up is essential as seedlings can appear soon after adult trees are removed
  • control work should be planned to minimise disturbance to soil and existing native vegetation
  • for advice on chemical control techniques contact your nearest Natural Resources Centre
  • refer to the 'Weed control handbook for declared plants in South Australia' for advice on chemical control. You can find it on the Biosecurity SA website.

Declarations

The following sections of the NRM Act apply to Aleppo Pine in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region (not planted and maintained for amenity or commercial purposes):

  • 175 (2) Cannot transport the plant, or any material or equipment containing that plant, on a public road
  • 177 (1) Cannot sell the plant
  • 182 (2) Landowner must control the plant on their land
  • 185 (1) NRM authority may recover costs for control of weeds on roadsides from adjoining landowners

More information

For more detailed information download the fact sheet.

Please contact us for advice and assistance with controlling Aleppo Pine.

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges