Growing Guide: Pinon Tree Care Guide

Pinon Tree Care


Infrequent, deep soakings to create deeper root development and a more drought-tolerant plant. Apply water to a depth of at least 18-20 inches. The frequency of irrigation is highly dependent on the time of year and soil type. Heavier, clay-type soils absorb water the slowest (1/2" per hour) and will require less frequent irrigation. Sandy soils absorb moisture the fastest (2" per hour) and thus require more frequent or prolonged periods of irrigation.


Apply a balanced tree and shrub fertilizer twice a year. SureGreen Tree and Shrub Special is an excellent fertilizer formulated for the high pH of New Mexico soils. Feeding is best done in early-mid spring with a second application in early fall. Use fertilizers with NPK levels of 12-6-6 or 16-8-8 that contain Sulfur and Iron (or Ferrous Sulfate).

Pest Control

Piñons can be a host for a number of insects. Most commonly found are scales, aphids, pine tip moths, pitch moths, and bark beetles. They can also be susceptible to borers. A good preventative measure is to apply a systemic insect drench containing Imidacloprid each spring. This is a broad-spectrum nicotine-based pesticide that will protect the plant for up to 12 months. Furthermore, spraying with Hi-Yield 28 Plus may be required for more extensive infestations. Pests are attracted to weak plants so keep things watered and healthy! If the health of the tree starts to deteriorate, then speaking to a tree surgeon about what to do next is essential. Checking out a NI tree surgeon guide will be beneficial for a whole range of trees and greenery, but specific trees will need fully trained specialists in that particular field.

Specifics on Piñon Irrigation in Albuquerque

Through the tree's first winter, irrigate at a rate of 10-15 gallons slowly applied every 10 days or so. Check the soil once a week, a couple to a few inches deep for moisture levels and apply additional water if needed. As the tree matures, irrigate less frequently (10-14 days in hotter months, once a month in winter) but for longer sustained periods each time the plant is watered.