Pine trees require at least some sunlight, regular watering and essential nutrients to survive. The trees thrive in moist, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Pines trees are hardy and grow strong with minimal care.
Fertilizing helps pine trees tolerate stress and ward off disease. Fertilizing once a year during the first five years of growth in either spring or fall is recommended.
Late spring pruning promotes thick and healthy foliage. Removing dead and broken branches prevents disease and decay. It may be necessary to remove live branches to ensure ample sunlight and air circulation within the canopy. Regular pruning helps to maintain a natural pyramid shape while reducing the potential for specific defects, structural problems and overgrowth. Pruning in the summer is not advised, since doing so potentially attracts life-threatening insect infestations.
Using pine bark or pine needle mulch and maintaining a 4- to 5-inch layer of mulch at the base of pine trees ensures more favorable moisture levels and stable temperatures.
Established pine trees only need additional watering in cases of prolonged drought and during the fall to help the trees store water over the winter. Moist soil for newly planted trees should be provided with regular watering until new growth appears.