Chinese Pistache

Plant Form: Tree

Water Use: Low, Moderate

Mature Size: 25-40 (to 60) ft. tall x 25-35 (to 50) ft. wide

Exposure: Full sun, part shade

Bloom Time: Spring (Mar-May)

Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 10°F

Native to: China, Philippines, Taiwan

Chinese Pistache delivers what few other trees do: vibrant fall colors in warmer climates. Besides transforming its foliage to crimson in autumn, it adds to its year-round interest with attractive bark and bright red fruit on female trees that turns dark blue. This desirable deciduous, ornamental tree is so drought resistant, it needs only occasional watering once established. Young trees may look gawky, but grow moderately fast to develop an attractive, umbrella-like crown with age. Stake young trees and prune the first few years to lift the crown above head level if you plan on recreating under its shade. Some litter is created from fall leaf drop and fruit twigs. Landscape uses for this dependable tree are numerous, including use as a shade tree, street tree specimen tree, patio tree, accent, corner planting or even in lawns. Pistache is ideal to flank driveways, or used as a pair to meet overhead on a drive or street.


Winter begins and plant growth is on hold until February

  • Prune to shape evergreens like arborvitae, juniper, pines, and cypress – and save trimmings for holiday decorations 
  • Prune dense trees to avoid wind damage; make sure young trees are well-stalked
  • For overnight protection when frost threatens, cover delicate plants with large cardboard boxes, old sheets, or tarps
  • Consider setting irrigation timers to “off”, and manually water in response to our irregular winter weather, based on winds, rain, or snow.  Using the manual mode on your controller in winter can save precious water.