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David Beaulieu

Norfolk Island Pine Trees

By February 28, 2008

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Norfolk Island pine trees are those adorable little specimens so popular in the U.S. as patio plants, house plants or (increasingly) even as miniature Christmas trees. But Steve Nix tells us that Norfolk Island pine trees "may reach 200 feet in height with 15-pound cones" in their native habitat. About's Forestry Guide tells us all about Norfolk Island pine trees in this article.


July 13, 2006 at 8:34 pm
(1) Mickey Muin says:

In reading your website, I learned I can get rid of poison ivy (pi) with Roundup.

One question. I am extremely susceptible to pi. I’m just getting over again this summer w/a shot f/the doctor.
The pi is in my 350 privet hedges that decorate our yard. We’ve had them for 25 yrs. and don’t want to accidentally kill them by using Roundup to kill the pi embedded in them.

Do you have any suggestions about getting rid of the pi w/o killing the hedges.

Thanks for your help.

Mickey Muin

July 15, 2006 at 10:03 am
(2) landscaping says:

Perhaps try a product put out by Ortho called “Brush-B-Gone Foam.” Because it’s a foam, it’s easier to apply selectively. That’s important, because you want to get the herbicide on just the poison ivy. Avoid getting the herbicide on your privet, else you risk damaging it. You might even try squirting the foam onto a palette first, then daubing it onto the poison ivy with a small paintbrush.

March 19, 2007 at 5:21 pm
(3) Bruce Haizlett says:

Living in South Florida the Norfolk Island pine grows like a weed. In five years it is a giant. I see some in my neighborhood over one hundred feet. I believe people here don’t realize what a problem they have once they transfer the cute little “Christmas Tree” house plant into the front yard.
The last hurricane that went through this area damaged many of the Norfolk Pines to the point that over a year later most look like something from another planet. Not to mention the damage they caused to buildings, power lines, etc. The fact that they a so large most homeowners can’t afford having them removed so now they have a problem when the next hurricane arrives.
I would like to see the “State of Florida” restrict the planting of the Norfolk Island Pine outdoors. In my opinion they are dangerous and a nuisance to the South Florida area.

September 3, 2008 at 7:32 pm
(4) JASinFl says:

My next-door-neighbor has a 100 ft. Norfolk pine approx. 20 ft. from my house in South Florida. I have been searching everywhere for local zoning ordinances that restrict the height of trees or their proximity to a structure but have found nothing. What’s the next step? We are on our fifth hurricane this season…

September 3, 2008 at 7:49 pm
(5) landscaping says:


I would go down to City Hall and just start asking questions. I don’t know who would have the answer, but you’re bound to get a “lead” if you’re persistent.

Best of luck!

March 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm
(6) Rita says:

I live in Idaho, my little norfolk pines came to me at christmas with cute little red bows, they are growing indoors – but too big for my little living space, will these trees grow outside in Idaho?

March 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm
(7) landscaping says:

No, Rita, I’m afraid not. According to my information, Norfolk Island pine trees are suited to zones 9-11.

July 16, 2009 at 9:53 am
(8) Ginger Firestone says:

I have one in my office, but it’s not doing as well as it has been the last couple of years. I’m in northern NV – can it be put outside for the summer and then brought back inside in the fall?

July 16, 2009 at 10:15 am
(9) landscaping says:


Absolutely, put your Norfolk Island pine tree outdoors for the summer. But do so in stages. You don’t want to expose a plant that’s been indoors to bright outdoor sunshine all at once. Bring it out at first for just a few hours at a time, then continue to increase its outdoor time gradually.

December 30, 2009 at 12:45 am
(10) New Piner says:

I just got a Norfolk Island Pine. It came in a 4-in cup with 5 plants growing in it. I read that I have to cut the others away. How do I go about doing something like this without killing the one that I want? Why would they ship 5 growing plants together?

December 30, 2009 at 11:49 am
(11) landscaping says:

New Piner,

I can’t answer the “why?” in your question about Norfolk Island pine trees (you’d have to ask the shipper), but let’s deal with the “how?”

If the plan is literally to “cut” the excess away, your task is straightforward. Select the healthiest (take a guess if there’s no clear winner among your 5 Norfolk Island pine trees) as the one to leave alone, then just cut the others away at the base. I’m not saying that this would be my plan; just that, if you are going to take the cutting approach, that’s how it would be done. The roots of the rejected Norfolk Island pine trees should eventually rot away.

Personally, unless the roots are terribly intertwined, I’d try to separate the 5 Norfolk Island pine trees and plant them in separate pots. But again, I don’t know why the shipper provided you the instructions you received, so maybe I’m missing something.

February 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm
(12) Joshua says:

Some one gave me a small 1 1/2 ft. tree they believe is a Norfolk. I’m not sure and the pictures I look at are not conclusive. How can I be sure before planting. It is in the house right now but I’d like to plant in spring. Other question, I might try to experiment with gibberelic acid growth regulator. Any comments if this will hurt the tree besides possibly deforming it? Any thoughts would be great. Good site and thanks in advance for your time if you reply.

February 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm
(13) landscaping says:


When you say the pictures you looked at were inconclusive, does that include the picture in the article linked to above? If you can’t find a conclusive photo by searching on the Web, I would suggest having a look at a tree identification book next time you’re in a bookstore. Or you could reverse the process: take a photo of the would-be Norfolk Island pine tree yourself, and post it in my Landscaping forum. We’ll try to provide a positive identification.

October 17, 2010 at 12:01 am
(14) south florida says:

Never plant a Norfolk Island Pine anywhere near a building or home in Florida!!!!! They attract lightning and they will blow over or snap off in a hurricane. You are not only endangering yourself, but you are endangering all neighbors and homes with a 100-200 foot radius. They get HUGE and ugly. When I moved into my new house, the home inspection report only detailed ONE problem with the house- the NEIGHBOR’S giant Norfolk Island Pines next to my house. I still see people plant these ugly and dangerous trees in South Florida. Keep them in a pot!!!! In Florida, they are considered nuisance trees, and you don’t need a permit to remove them if they’re on your property. If they are your neighbor’s trees, I would let your neighbor know how dangerous they are- not only in hurricanes, but also in lightning storms. They are tall and full of sap. Excellent lightning rods.

November 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm
(15) Glenda says:

I have a Norfolk Island pine. It is now about five feet tall. I have had it for a long time. It has lived indoors in the winter and outside on my covered patio in the summer. I live just north of Atlanta, Ga. My tree is to big for me to carry inside. Will it survive on the patio this winter?

November 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm
(16) landscaping says:


Norfolk Island pine trees are listed as being hardy as far north as zone 9. I think you’re in, what, zone 8?

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