Very tall standing pine tree in Alberta with pine cones

Is my pine tree too tall? What to know about Alberta Pines

The pine tree is a quintessential feature of the Canadian landscape. The look and the smell of pine trees are things that all Canadians can appreciate together. Pine trees are an important part of our national identity, but what do we do when the pines in our yards get too big?

Should we just get rid of them or is there a way to somehow manage their height?


A pine is a pine is a pine, right?
There are actually a lot of different kinds of pine trees — more than one hundred, in fact (scientists call this genus of tree Pinus). Generally, pine trees tend to grow to between 15 and 45 metres in height. Although it’s hard to say for sure, some people claim that the tallest pine in the world is an 81.79 metre Ponderosa Pine and can be found in the United States, in southern Oregon’s Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

In Alberta, our national tree is actually the Lodgepole Pine (or, the Pinus contorta laitifolia). According to the Canadian government, 20% of Canada’s total coniferous growing stock is some form of Lodgepole Pine. These trees mostly grow east of the Rocky Mountains, into the Alberta Foothill region. The Lodgepole Pine averages 24 metres in height and tends to grow anywhere from 30 to 60 centimetres each year, depending on conditions.


How to manage your pine tree’s height

The shade, protection from wind and beauty that pines bring to our yards are wonderful additions, but they need to be properly managed so that they don’t become risks. If a tree becomes too big or becomes sick or damaged, it can sometimes fall over and badly damage your (or your neighbour’s) property.

Once your pine tree is at the height you would like it to remain, a professional arborist can carefully prune what is known as the “central leader” of your tree (essentially, its main trunk) without damaging the tree itself. This will probably have to be done again every two years or so. Pruning in this way requires special equipment to be used at significant heights, so, unless you have some experience working with trees, it’s usually best to let a professional handle it.


If you’re in need of tree care by a professional arborist in the Edmonton area, give us at All Season Tree Service a call. From tree pruning to tree removal to stump grinding, to get a free quote contact us today or just consult us about how best to keep your trees happy and healthy. We’re proud to service the Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park and surrounding areas.

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