Chinese Pistache

Pistachia chinensis

Other Common Names:
Chinese pistachio

Under Power Lines:
No—this tree is not approved for planting under power lines.

Street Tree Planting:
Yes—minimum planting strip width of 5 feet. If planting a street tree, you must be approved for a permit.

This is an excellent urban tree, adapting to wide variety of conditions. The Chinese pistache has dark green foliage turning to a striking red in fall and peeling bark, adding interest in every season. While this tree can start out quite misshapen, it matures into a magnificent tree.

Mature Height:
35 feet

Mature Spread:
25 feet

Compound dark green leaves up to 10 inches long. Fall foliage is beautiful, appearing various shades of yellow, orange, and red.

Small red flowers in clusters in early spring, resembling ash flowers.

Small inedible nuts in loose hanging clusters turn from green to red to blue.

Cultural Notes:
Widely adaptable, but prefers full sun for best growth and fall foliage. Once established, tends to be very drought tolerant.

Potential Problems:
No serious pest or disease problems, but susceptible to vertcillium wilt.

Minimum Planting Distances:

  • 15 feet from house or building
  • 3 ½ feet back from the face of the curb
  • 5 feet from underground utility lines
  • 10 feet from power poles
  • 7 ½ feet from driveways (10 feet recommended)
  • 20 feet from street lights and other existing trees
  • 30 feet from street intersections

Additional Resources