Pinus halepensis is a small to medium-size tree, 15-25 metres (49-82 ft) tall, with a trunk diameter of up to 60 centimetres (24 in), exceptionally up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in). The bark is orange-red, thick and deeply fissured at the base of the trunk, and thin and flaky in the upper crown. The leaves ("needles") are very slender, 6-12 cm (2.4-4.7 in) long, distinctly yellowish green and produced in pairs (rarely a few in threes). The cones are narrow conic, 5-12 cm (2.0-4.7 in) long and 2-3 cm (0.79-1.2 in) broad at the base when closed, green at first, ripening glossy red-brown when 24 months old. They open slowly over the next few years, a process quickened if they are exposed to heat such as in forest fires. The cones open 5-8 cm (2.0-3.1 in) wide to allow the seeds to disperse. The seeds are 5-6 mm (0.20-0.24 in) long, with a 20 mm (0.79 in) wing, and are wind-dispersed.