Pinus cembra 'Herman' PRAIRIE STATESMAN

Common Name: Swiss stone pine 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Zone: 2 to 7
Height: 25.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils, but prefers sandy loams. Appreciates sites with good air circulation. This pine prefers cool summer climates and is not recommended for planting south of USDA Zone 7.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pinus cembra, commonly called Swiss stone pine or arolla pine, is native to mountain areas in central Europe from the Alps to the Carpathians. It is a slow-growing, medium-sized pine with a narrow pyramidal shape in its youth, gradually becoming rounded and more open as it matures. It typically grows 30-40’ tall in cultivation, but will grow to 100’ tall in the wild in its native habitat. Soft, dark green to blue green needles (2-5” long) with white stomatic lines appear in bundles of five. Short-stalked, oblong cones (to 2.5” long) are greenish purple when young, maturing to purplish-brown. Cones never open. Cone seeds are edible. The pine nuts consumed as food in Europe primarily come from the stone pines, namely, this species and P. pinea (Italian stone pine).

Genus name comes from the Latin name for pines.

Specific epithet is the Italian name for this plant.

‘Herman’ originated as a seedling selection and is sold under the registered trade name of PRAIRIE STATESMAN®. It is an elegant, stately tree with an outstanding, perfectly symmetrical narrow form and dense growth habit. The needles are a rich emerald-green with silvery-blue overtones year-round. It is an excellent selection for a landscape specimen tree. Extremely cold hardy and drought tolerant.


Healthy, well-maintained trees usually have few significant problems. Swiss stone pine has good resistant to blister rust. Potential disease problems include blights, rots, canker and rusts. Potential insect problems include caterpillars, borers, bark beetles, miners, scale, mealybugs and sawfly.

PRAIRIE STATESMAN® transplants very well and needs little pruning for a strong structure. It is resistant to most pest and diseases. Deer browsing can be an issue with this species.


Good specimen pine for smaller landscapes.