How Much Do Pine Trees Cost?

Last Updated on June 8, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

With their characteristic evergreen needles and stately conical form, pine trees remain a popular choice to provide beauty, shade, and architectural interest in landscaping. But like any other living plants, pine trees come at widely varying costs depending on the tree’s exact size and age, species, retailer versus nursery sources, and quantity purchased.

This in-depth guide covers everything consumers need to know about pine tree cost factors. We’ll identify where to source affordable pines, provide typical price ranges by size, compare popular species, look at additional planting and care expenses, give bulk purchasing tips, examine cost differences by region, and share expert advice for keeping pine trees thriving for years after planting.

How Much Do Pine Trees Cost?

Typically, smaller container-grown pine saplings start around $15 from a nursery. Medium-sized transplanted pines range from $100 to $250, while large mature pine trees can cost $1,000 or more.

To illustrate how size drastically impacts per-tree prices, typical retail costs are:

Seedlings or small saplings (< 3 feet tall)

  • 1 to 3 years old from seed
  • Grow in 2-4” pots or plugs for easy transport
  • Cost range: $15 – $50 per tree

Mid-range transplanted pines (4-8 feet tall)

  • 4 to 6 years old
  • Grow in 15-25 gallon containers for transplanting
  • Cost range: $100 – $250 per tree

Mature pines (8+ feet tall)

  • 10+ years old
  • Field grown then dug and burlapped with large root balls
  • Cost range: $200 – $1,000+ per tree

NOTE: Old growth mature pine trees can cost thousands or even tens of thousands for prized specimens, and always require professional planting.

The Chilcote Forester website discusses the value of pine trees, stating that pine prices in Pennsylvania are around 7 cents per board foot. In comparison, white oak is priced at around 50 cents per board foot, indicating that pine trees are significantly less valuable than hardwood species like oak.

The North Carolina State University Extension website provides insights into pine timber prices in North Carolina. According to the article, in the third quarter of 2021, the statewide average pine sawtimber prices were around $30.9 per ton, while pine pulpwood prices averaged $10 per ton. The article highlights that pine timber prices continued to rise during this period.

Pinestead Tree Farms offers balled and burlapped conifer trees for sale, including pine trees. The prices for these trees range from $99.95 for a 3′-4′ tree (with a 24″ root ball) to $149.95 for a 5′-6′ tree (with a 36″ root ball).

Factors Impacting the Cost of Pine Trees

Several important variables affect the quoted cost and value when purchasing pine trees:

  • Size of the tree – Seedlings under 3 feet tall are far cheaper than 8 foot trees, which are pricier than huge 20 foot mature pines.
  • Age of the tree – Younger 1-2 year old nursery-grown seedlings are most affordable. The price increases with each year of growth.
  • Particular pine species – Some pine varieties like mature Scotch pines command premium pricing. Others like Eastern White Pine are budget-friendly.
  • Purchase location – Buying directly from nursery wholesalers or growers is cheaper than purchasing at full retail rates from garden centers, big box stores, or landscape contractors.
  • Purchase quantity – Bulk orders of 10+ trees qualify for wholesale pricing discounts from nurseries. Retail sites charge per tree.

As expected based on the time and care required to nurture them to maturity, larger, more mature pine trees with desirable characteristics cost exponentially more than a 1-gallon seedling sapling.

Best Places to Purchase Pine Trees

Pine ConePopular options for places to purchase pine trees at competitive prices include:

  • Local nurseries – Offer the widest selection of tree sizes, pine species, and lowest retail pricing. Shop early before stock sells out.
  • Independent garden supply stores – Provide convenience over nurseries but at slightly higher per-tree costs.
  • Home improvement big box stores – Offer moderate per-tree prices but a more limited selection of the most popular pine varieties.
  • Ordering online – Enables convenient home delivery but lacks selection inspection and adds shipping costs.

When buying, always independently shop and compare per-tree pricing between sources. Visiting the nursery or retailer to hand select specific trees is recommended.

You might also like our articles about the cost of Oak trees, Christmas trees, or palm trees.

Popular Pine Tree Species

To highlight the variability in prices between different pine tree species, here is a cost comparison of commonly available landscape pines:

  • Eastern White Pine – Fast growing and tolerates shade well. $20 – $60 per small tree.
  • Scotch Pine – Striking irregular form and orange bark when mature. $50 – $150 per mid-size tree.
  • Austrian Pine – Distinctive stiff branches and long sturdy needles. $15 – $75 per sapling.
  • Ponderosa Pine – Grows into a large majestic pine with age. Drought resistant. $30 – $100 per young tree.
  • White Pine – Graceful soft blue-green needles, grows well throughout the country. $15 – $50 per seedling.

There are over 100 different species and cultivars of pine trees available, each with different price points depending on growth habit, demand, and availability from nurseries.

Additional Planting and Care Costs

Beyond just purchasing the tree itself, properly planting and caring for pine trees over their lifespan also incurs costs:

  • Delivery fees or rental pickup truck fees – $25 – $100
  • Soil amendments and fertilizers – $50 – $200
  • Pine bark mulch – $100 – $500 per delivered yard
  • Professional landscape planting labor – $200 – $500 per tree
  • Ongoing annual maintenance costs – pruning, pest control, irrigation

Adequately preparing the planting site and properly caring for pine trees helps ensure they survive and thrive for decades to come.

Wholesale Discounts vs Retail Pricing

For large plantings, significant per-tree savings can be achieved buying wholesale pine trees in volume directly from the nursery grower:

  • Retail price – $125 per mid-size pine from garden center
  • 10 tree wholesale price – $100 per tree from nursery
  • 25 tree wholesale price – $90 per tree from nursery
  • 100 tree wholesale price – $80 per tree from nursery

Buying as a group with neighbors or communities further boosts bulk order savings potential on pine tree costs.

Regional Price Variations

Where you live and buy pine trees also impacts pricing:

  • Northeast & Midwest – Abundant native pines mean lower costs, $50-$150 per tree locally grown.
  • Southern States – More limited selection and availability sends costs to $100-$300 per tree.
  • Western States – Prized native species like Ponderosa pine command premiums of $150-$500 per specimen tree.
  • West Coast – Numerous large wholesale growers competing brings mid-range prices of $75-$250 per tree.

Check prices from multiple regional sources both online and in-person to capitalize on any location savings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get quick answers to some common pine tree questions:

How fast does a pine tree grow?

Growth rates vary by species, but most pines average 1-2 feet of height per year when properly watered and fertilized. Some fast-growing varieties can gain 3 feet annually.

What is the lifespan of a pine tree?

Many pines live for 100-150 years when healthy. Some old growth western pines like bristlecone and limber pines reach ages over 5000 years! Proper planting and care maximizes lifespan.

Are pine trees high maintenance?

Pine trees are not usually considered high maintenance compared to other species. Annual pruning, pest treatments as needed, and supplemental watering during droughts keeps most varieties growing strongly. Avoid planting too close to buildings and infrastructure.

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