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A pine is any
conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The division contains a single ex ...

conifer
in the
genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
''Pinus'' () of the
family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. Ideally, families would off ...
Pinaceae The Pinaceae, pine family, are conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Con ...

Pinaceae
. ''Pinus'' is the sole genus in the
subfamily In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying groups of biological organisms based on shared characteristics. Organisms are grou ...
Pinoideae. The Plant List compiled by the
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is a non-departmental public bodyIn the United Kingdom, non-departmental public body (NDPB) is a classification applied by the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury, Treasury, the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Ex ...
and
Missouri Botanical Garden greenhouse at the Missouri Botanical Garden simulates the climate of a rainforest for conservational and educational purposes. The Missouri Botanical Garden is a botanical garden A botanical garden or botanic gardenThe terms ''botanic'' a ...

Missouri Botanical Garden
accepts 126 species names of pines as current, together with 35 unresolved species and many more synonyms. Th
American Conifer Society
(ACS) and the Royal Horticultural Society accept 121 species. Pine may also refer to the
lumber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, sup ...
derived from pine trees; pine is one of the more extensively used types of wood used as lumber. The pine family is the largest family within conifers, and there are currently 818 named cultivars, or trinomials, recognized by the ACS.


Etymology

The modern English name "pine" derives from Latin ''pinus'', which some have traced to the Indo-European base ''*pīt-'' ‘resin’ (source of English ''pituitary''). Before the 19th century, pines were often referred to as firs (from
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
''fura'', by way of
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments following ...
''firre''). In some European languages, Germanic cognates of the Old Norse name are still in use for pines—in
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
''fyr'', in
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
''fura/fure/furu'',
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
''fura/furu'',
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
''vuren'', and
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
''Föhre''—but in modern English, ''fir'' is now restricted to
fir Firs (''Abies'') are a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including ...

fir
(''Abies'') and
Douglas fir The Douglas fir (''Pseudotsuga menziesii'') is an evergreen In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who ...
(''Pseudotsuga'').


Description

Pine trees are
evergreen In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Anc ...

evergreen
, coniferous
resin In polymer chemistry and materials science, resin is a solid or highly Viscosity, viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin that is typically convertible into polymers. Resins are usually mixtures of organic compounds. This article focus ...

resin
ous
tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only wood plants with se ...

tree
s (or, rarely,
shrub A shrub (often called a bush) is a small- to medium-sized perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the p ...

shrub
s) growing tall, with the majority of species reaching tall. The smallest are
Siberian dwarf pine ''Pinus pumila'', commonly known as the Siberian dwarf pine, dwarf Siberian pine, dwarf stone pine, Japanese stone pine, or creeping pine, is a tree in the family Pinaceae The Pinaceae, pine family, are trees or shrubs, including many of the we ...
and
Potosi pinyon ''Pinus culminicola'', commonly known as Potosi pinyon, is a pine A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, divisio ...
, and the tallest is an tall
ponderosa pine ''Pinus ponderosa'', commonly known as the ponderosa pine, bull pine, blackjack pine, western yellow-pine, or filipinus pine is a very large pine A pine is any Pinophyta, conifer in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family (biology), family Pinac ...
located in southern
Oregon Oregon () is a U.S. state, state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington (state), Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its ...

Oregon
's
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest A rogue is a person or entity that flouts accepted norms of behavior. Rogue or rogues may also refer to: Companies * RogueArt, French independent record label * Rogue Ales Rogue Ales is a brewery founded in 1988 in Ashland, Oregon. The c ...
. Pines are long lived and typically reach ages of 100–1,000 years, some even more. The longest-lived is the Great Basin bristlecone pine, ''Pinus longaeva''. One individual of this species, dubbed "
Methuselah Methuselah () ( he, מְתוּשֶׁלַח ''Məṯūšélaḥ'', in pausa ''Məṯūšā́laḥ'', "Man of the javelin" or "Death of Sword"; gr, Μαθουσάλας ''Mathousalas'') was a Patriarchs (Bible), biblical patriarch and a figure ...
", is one of the world's oldest living organisms at around 4,800 years old. This tree can be found in the
White MountainsWhite Mountains may refer to: Mountain ranges ;Afghanistan and Pakistan *White Mountains (Safed Koh) ;Australia *White Mountains National Park, in Queensland ;Greece *White Mountains (Lefka Ori), on the island of Crete ;United States *White Mountai ...
of California. An older tree, now cut down, was dated at 4,900 years old. It was discovered in a grove beneath Wheeler Peak and it is now known as "
Prometheus In , Prometheus (; , , possibly meaning "")Smith"Prometheus". is a god of fire. Prometheus is best known for defying the gods by from them and giving it to humanity in the form of technology, knowledge, and more generally, . In some versions ...
" after the
Greek immortal
Greek immortal
. The spiral growth of branches, needles, and cone scales may be arranged in
Fibonacci number In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers, commonly denoted , form a sequence In , a sequence is an enumerated collection of in which repetitions are allowed and matters. Like a , it contains (also called ''elements'', or ''terms''). The numbe ...

Fibonacci number
ratios. The new spring shoots are sometimes called "candles"; they are covered in brown or whitish bud scales and point upward at first, then later turn green and spread outward. These "candles" offer
forester A forester is a person who practices forestry Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, planting, using, conserving and repairing forests, woodlands, and associated resources for human and environmental benefits. Forestry is ...

forester
s a means to evaluate
fertility Fertility is the capability to produce offspring through reproduction following the onset of sexual maturity. The fertility rate is the average number of children born by a female during her lifetime and is quantified Demography, demographicall ...
of the soil and vigour of the trees.


Bark

The
bark Bark may refer to: * Bark (botany), an outer layer of a woody plant * Bark (sound), a vocalization of some animals Places * Bark, Germany * Bark, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland Arts, entertainment, and media * ''Bark'' (Jefferson Airp ...
of most pines is thick and scaly, but some species have thin, flaky bark. The branches are produced in regular "pseudo whorls", actually a very tight spiral but appearing like a ring of branches arising from the same point. Many pines are uninodal, producing just one such whorl of branches each year, from
bud In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the An ...

bud
s at the tip of the year's new
shoot In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancie ...

shoot
, but others are multinodal, producing two or more whorls of branches per year.


Foliage

Pines have four types of
leaf A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leaves, stem, flower and fruit together form the shoot system. Leaves are ...

leaf
: * Seed leaves (
cotyledon A cotyledon (; ; ; , gen. (), ) is a significant part of the embryo within the seed of a plant, and is defined as "the embryonic leaf in seed-bearing plants, one or more of which are the first to appear from a germination, germinating see ...
s) on seedlings are borne in a whorl of 4–24. * Juvenile leaves, which follow immediately on seedlings and young plants, are 2–6 cm long, single, green or often blue-green, and arranged spirally on the shoot. These are produced for six months to five years, rarely longer. * Scale leaves, similar to bud scales, are small, brown and not photosynthetic, and arranged spirally like the juvenile leaves. * Needles, the adult leaves, are green (
photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Conversion (Doctor Who audio), "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episode of the audio drama ' ...
) and bundled in clusters called fascicles. The needles can number from one to seven per fascicle, but generally number from two to five. Each fascicle is produced from a small bud on a dwarf shoot in the axil of a scale leaf. These bud scales often remain on the fascicle as a basal sheath. The needles persist for 1.5–40 years, depending on species. If a shoot's
growing tip The meristem is a type of biological tissue, tissue found in plants. It consists of undifferentiated cells (meristematic cells) capable of mitosis, cell division. Cells in the meristem can develop into all the other tissues and organs that occur in ...
is damaged (e.g. eaten by an animal), the needle fascicles just below the damage will generate a stem-producing bud, which can then replace the lost growth tip.


Cones

Pines are
monoecious Monoecy (; adjective form: monoecious ) is a sexual system in seed plants The spermatophytes (; ), also known as phanerogams (taxon Phanerogamae) or phaenogams (taxon Phaenogamae), comprise those plant Plants are predominantly photosynthet ...
, having the male and female
cones A cone is a three-dimensional space, three-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a flat base (frequently, though not necessarily, circular) to a point called the Apex (geometry), apex or vertex (geometry), vertex. A cone is fo ...
on the same tree. The male cones are small, typically 1–5 cm long, and only present for a short period (usually in spring, though autumn in a few pines), falling as soon as they have shed their
pollen Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are Sporophyte, microsporophytes of spermatophyta, seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat made of sporopollenin that protects the ga ...

pollen
. The female cones take 1.5–3 years (depending on species) to mature after
pollination Pollination is the transfer of pollen Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are Sporophyte, microsporophytes of spermatophyta, seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat ...

pollination
, with actual fertilization delayed one year. At maturity the female cones are 3–60 cm long. Each cone has numerous spirally arranged scales, with two seeds on each fertile scale; the scales at the base and tip of the cone are small and sterile, without seeds. The seeds are mostly small and winged, and are
anemophilous Anemophily or wind pollination is a form of pollination whereby pollen is distributed by wind. Almost all gymnosperms are anemophilous, as are many plants in the order Poales, including Poaceae, grasses, Cyperaceae, sedges, and Juncaceae, rushes. ...
(wind-dispersed), but some are larger and have only a vestigial wing, and are
bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With ...

bird
-dispersed (see below). Female cones are woody and sometimes armed to protect developing seeds from foragers. At maturity, the cones usually open to release the seeds. In some of the bird-dispersed species, for example
whitebark pine ''Pinus albicaulis'', known by the common names whitebark pine, white bark pine, white pine, pitch pine, scrub pine, and creeping pine, is a conifer tree native to the mountains of the western United States and Canada, specifically subalpine ...
, the seeds are only released by the bird breaking the cones open. In others, the seeds are stored in closed cones for many years until an environmental cue triggers the cones to open, releasing the seeds. This is called
serotiny Fire has caused minimal damage to this '' follicles and the release of seed.">follicle_(fruit).html" ;"title="Banksia serrata'' (saw banksia) fruiting structure, but has triggered the opening of the follicle (fruit)">follicles and the release of se ...
. The most common form of serotiny is pyriscence, in which a resin binds the cones shut until melted by a forest fire, for example in ''
Pinus rigida ''Pinus rigida'', the pitch pine, is a small-to-medium-sized () pine A pine is any Pinophyta, conifer in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family (biology), family Pinaceae. ''Pinus'' is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List com ...

Pinus rigida
''.


Evolutionary history

''Pinus'' is the largest genus of the
Pinaceae The Pinaceae, pine family, are conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Con ...

Pinaceae
, the pine family, which first appeared in the
Jurassic The Jurassic ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and other earth ...
period. Based on recent
Transcriptome The transcriptome is the set of all RNA Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymer A polymer (; Greek ''wikt:poly-, poly-'', "many" + ''wikt:-mer, -mer'', "part") is a Chemical substance, substance or material consisting of very large molecules, ...
analysis, ''Pinus'' is most closely related to the genus ''
Cathaya ''Cathaya'' is a genus in the pine family, Pinaceae, with one known living species, ''Cathaya argyrophylla''. ''Cathaya'' is a member of the subfamily Laricoideae, most closely related to ''Pseudotsuga'' and ''Larch, Larix''. A second species, '' ...
'', which in turn is closely related to
spruce A spruce is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including ...

spruce
s. These genera, with
fir Firs (''Abies'') are a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including ...

fir
s and
larch Larches are deciduous In the fields of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists grow flowers, fruits and nuts, v ...

larch
es, form the pinoid
clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineage (evolution), lineal descendants - on a phylogenetic tree. R ...

clade
of the Pinaceae. The oldest verified fossil of the genus is '' Pinus yorkshirensis'' from the
Hauterivian The Hauterivian is, in the geologic timescale, an age (geology), age in the Early Cretaceous epoch (geology), epoch or a stage (stratigraphy), stage in the Lower Cretaceous series (stratigraphy), series. It spans the time between 132.9 ± 2 annum, ...
-
Barremian The Barremian is an age in the geologic timescale The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and ...
boundary (131-129 million years ago) from the Speeton Clay, England. The evolutionary history of the genus ''Pinus'' has been complicated by hybridization. Pines are prone to inter-specific breeding. Wind pollination, long life spans, overlapping generations, large population size, and weak
reproductive isolation The mechanisms of reproductive isolation are a collection of evolutionary mechanisms, ethology, behaviors and physiology, physiological processes critical for speciation. They prevent members of different species from producing offspring, or ensur ...
make breeding across species more likely. As the pines have diversified, gene transfer between different species has created a complex history of genetic relatedness.


Taxonomy, nomenclature and codification

Pines are
gymnosperm The gymnosperms ( lit. revealed seeds) are a group of seed-producing plants that includes conifers Conifers are a group of cone-bearing seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the division Pinophyta (), also ...
s. The genus is divided into two subgenera based on the number of fibrovascular bundles in the needle. The subgenera can be distinguished by cone, seed, and leaf characters: * ''Pinus'' subg. ''Pinus'', the yellow, or hard pine group, generally with harder wood and two or three needles per fascicle. The subgenus is also named ''diploxylon'', on account of its two fibrovascular bundles. * ''Pinus'' subg. ''Strobus'', the white, or soft pine group. Its members usually have softer wood and five needles per fascicle. The subgenus is also named ''haploxylon'', on account of its one fibrovascular bundle. Each subgenus is further divided into sections and subsections. Many of the smaller groups of ''Pinus'' are composed of closely related species with recent divergence and history of hybridization. This results in low morphological and genetic differences. This, coupled with low sampling and underdeveloped genetic techniques, has made taxonomy difficult to determine. Recent research using large genetic datasets has clarified these relationships into the groupings we recognize today.


Distribution

Pines are native to the
Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remain ...

Northern Hemisphere
, and in a few parts from the tropics to
temperate In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populati ...
regions in the
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western He ...

Southern Hemisphere
. Most regions of the Northern Hemisphere (see
List of pines by region This is a list of pine species by geographical distribution. For a taxonomy of the genus, see Pinus classification ''Pinus A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of cone-bearing seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, t ...
) host some
native Native may refer to: People * Jus soli, citizenship by right of birth * Indigenous peoples, peoples with a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory ** Native Americans (disambiguation) In arts and entertain ...

native
species of pines. One species ( Sumatran pine) crosses the equator in Sumatra to 2°S. In North America, various species occur in regions at latitudes from as far north as 66°N to as far south as 12°N. Pines may be found in a very large variety of environments, ranging from semi-arid desert to rainforests, from sea level up to , from the coldest to the hottest environments on Earth. They often occur in mountainous areas with favorable soils and at least some water. Various species have been introduced to
temperate In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populati ...
and
subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical zone, geographical and Köppen climate classification, climate zones located to the north and south of the tropics, Torrid Zone. Geographically part of the Geographical zone#Temperate zones, ...

subtropical
regions of both hemispheres, where they are grown as
timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, sup ...

timber
or cultivated as ornamental plants in parks and gardens. A number of such introduced species have become naturalized, and some species are considered
invasive Invasive may refer to: *Invasive (medical) procedure *Invasive species *Invasive observation, especially in reference to surveillance *Invasively progressive spread of disease from one organ in the body to another, especially in reference to cancer, ...
in some areas and threaten native ecosystems.


Ecology

Pines grow well in acid soils, some also on
calcareous ''Calcareous'' is an adjective meaning "mostly or partly composed of calcium carbonate Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecula ...
soils; most require good soil drainage, preferring sandy soils, but a few (e.g.
lodgepole pine ''Pinus contorta'', with the common names lodgepole pine and shore pine, and also known as twisted pine, and contorta pine, is a common tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), tr ...
) can tolerate poorly drained wet soils. A few are able to sprout after forest fires (e.g.
Canary Island pine ''Pinus canariensis'', the Canary Island pine, is a species of gymnosperm in the Pinophyta, conifer family Pinaceae. It is a large, evergreen tree native and endemism, endemic to the outer Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife, El Hierro and La P ...
). Some species of pines (e.g.
bishop pine ''Pinus muricata'', the bishop pine, is a pine with a very restricted range: mostly in California, including several offshore Channel Islands of California, Channel Islands, and a few locations in Baja California, Mexico. It is always on or near ...
) need fire to regenerate, and their populations slowly decline under fire suppression regimens. Pine trees are beneficial to the environment, they can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Although several studies have indicated that after the establishment of pine plantations in grasslands, there is an alteration of carbon pools including a decrease of the soil organic carbon pool. Several species are adapted to extreme conditions imposed by elevation and latitude (e.g. Siberian dwarf pine,
mountain pine ''Pinus mugo'', known as bog pine, creeping pine, dwarf mountain pine, mugo pine, mountain pine, scrub mountain pine, or Swiss mountain pine, is a species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organism ...
, whitebark pine, and the
bristlecone pine The term bristlecone pine covers three species of pine tree (family Pinaceae, genus ''Pinus'', subsection ''Balfourianae''). All three species are long-lived and highly resilient to harsh weather and bad soils. One of the three species, ''Pinus ...
s). The pinyon pines and a number of others, notably
Turkish pine ''Pinus brutia'', commonly known as the Turkish pine, is a species of pine A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum ...
and
gray pine ''Pinus sabiniana'' (sometimes spelled ''P. sabineana''), with vernacular names including foothill pine, gray pine, and digger pine, is a pine A pine is any Pinophyta, conifer in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family (biology), family Pinaceae. ...
, are particularly well adapted to growth in hot, dry
semidesert A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate of a region that receives precipitation below potential evapotranspiration, but not as low as a desert climate. There are different kinds of semi-arid climates, depending ...

semidesert
climates. The seeds are commonly eaten by birds, such as grouse, crossbills, jays, nuthatches, siskins, and woodpeckers, and by
squirrel Squirrels are members of the family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social terri ...

squirrel
s. Some birds, notably the
spotted nutcracker The spotted nutcracker, Eurasian nutcracker, or just nutcracker, (''Nucifraga caryocatactes'') is a passerine A passerine is any bird of the Order (biology), order Passeriformes (, Latin ''passer'' (“sparrow”) + ''formis'' (“-shaped”)) ...
,
Clark's nutcracker Clark's nutcracker (''Nucifraga columbiana''), sometimes referred to as Clark's crow or woodpecker crow, is a passerine A passerine is any bird of the Order (biology), order Passeriformes (, Latin ''passer'' (“sparrow”) + ''formis'' (“-s ...
, and
pinyon jay The pinyon jay (''Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus'') is a jay between the North American blue jay The blue jay (''Cyanocitta cristata'') is a passerine bird in the family (biology), family Corvidae, native to eastern North America. It lives in most ...

pinyon jay
, are of importance in distributing pine seeds to new areas. Pine needles are sometimes eaten by some
Lepidoptera Lepidoptera ( ; ) is an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or ...

Lepidoptera
(
butterfly Butterflies are insect Insects (from Latin ') are pancrustacean Hexapoda, hexapod invertebrates of the class (biology), class Insecta. They are the largest group within the arthropod phylum. Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three ...

butterfly
and
moth Moths are a paraphyletic In taxonomy, a group is paraphyletic if it consists of the group's last common ancestor and all descendants of that ancestor excluding a few—typically only one or two—Monophyly, monophyletic subgroups. The g ...

moth
) species (see list of Lepidoptera that feed on pines), the
Symphyta Sawflies are the insects of the suborder In biological classification, the order ( la, wikt:ordo#Latin, ordo) is # a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms and recognized by the nomenclature codes. The well-known ranks in de ...
n species pine sawfly, and
goat The domestic goat or simply goat (''Capra hircus'') is a domesticated species of typically kept as . It was from the (''C. aegagrus'') of and . The goat is a member of the animal family and the subfamily , meaning it is closely related ...

goat
s. Pine
pollen Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are Sporophyte, microsporophytes of spermatophyta, seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat made of sporopollenin that protects the ga ...

pollen
may play an important role in the functioning of
detritalDetritus (; adjective ''detrital'' ) is particles of rock derived from pre-existing rock through processes of weathering Weathering is the breaking down of rocks, soil Soil (often stylized as SOiL) is an American rock band that was formed in ...
food web A food web is the natural interconnection of food chains and a graphical representation of what-eats-what in an ecological community. Another name for food web is Consumer-resource systems, consumer-resource system. Ecologists can broadly lump a ...

food web
s. Nutrients from pollen aid detritivores in development, growth, and maturation, and may enable fungi to decompose nutritionally scarce litter. Pine pollen is also involved in moving plant matter between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.


Uses


Lumber and construction

Pines are among the most commercially important tree species valued for their timber and
wood pulp Pulp is a lignocellulosic fibrous material prepared by chemically or mechanically separating cellulose fiber Cellulose fibers () are fibers made with ethers or esters of cellulose, which can be obtained from the bark, wood or leaves of plants ...
throughout the world. In temperate and tropical regions, they are fast-growing
softwood Scots Pine, a typical and well-known softwood Softwood is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or t ...
s that grow in relatively dense stands, their acidic decaying needles inhibiting the sprouting of competing hardwoods. Commercial pines are grown in
plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar cane, opium, sisal, oil seeds, oil pa ...

plantation
s for timber that is denser and therefore more durable than
spruce A spruce is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including ...

spruce
(''Picea''). Pine wood is widely used in high-value carpentry items such as furniture, window frames, panelling, floors, and roofing, and the
resin In polymer chemistry and materials science, resin is a solid or highly Viscosity, viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin that is typically convertible into polymers. Resins are usually mixtures of organic compounds. This article focus ...

resin
of some species is an important source of
turpentine Turpentine (which is also called gum turpentine, spirit of turpentine, oil of turpentine, wood turpentine, terebenthene, terebinthine and (colloquially) turps) is a fluid obtained by the distillation Distillation, or classical distillation, ...
. Because pine wood has no insect- or decay-resistant qualities after logging, in its untreated state it is generally recommended for indoor construction purposes only (indoor
drywall Drywall (also known as plasterboard, wallboard, sheet rock, gypsum board, buster board, custard board, or gypsum panel) is a panel made of calcium sulfate Calcium sulfate (or calcium sulphate) is the inorganic compound with the formula CaSO4 ...

drywall
framing, for example). For outside use, pine needs to be treated with copper azole,
chromated copper arsenateChromated copper arsenate (CCA) is a wood preservative containing compounds of chromium, copper, and arsenic, in various proportions. It is used to impregnate timber and other wood products, especially those intended for outdoor use, in order to pro ...
or other suitable chemical preservative.


Ornamental uses

Many pine species make attractive ornamental plantings for
park A park is an area of natural, semi-natural or planted space set aside for human enjoyment and recreation Recreation is an activity of leisure Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is ...

park
s and larger
garden A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the cultivation, display, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The single feature identifying even the wildest wild garden A wildlife garden (or wild garden) is an Bioph ...

garden
s with a variety of dwarf
cultivar A cultivar is a type of plant that people have bred for desired traits, which are reproduced in each new generation by a method such as grafting, tissue culture or carefully controlled seed production. Most cultivars arise from purposeful human ...
s being suitable for smaller spaces. Pines are also commercially grown and harvested for
Christmas tree A Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist wh ...

Christmas tree
s. Pine cones, the largest and most durable of all
conifer cone A conifer cone (in formal botany, botanical usage: strobilus, plural strobili) is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta (conifers) that contains the plant sexuality, reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, ...
s, are craft favorites. Pine boughs, appreciated especially in wintertime for their pleasant smell and greenery, are popularly cut for decorations. Pine needles are also used for making decorative articles such as baskets, trays, pots, etc., and during the U.S. Civil War, the needles of the
longleaf pine The longleaf pine (''Pinus palustris'') is a pine A pine is any Pinophyta, conifer in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family (biology), family Pinaceae. ''Pinus'' is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List compiled by the Royal ...
"Georgia pine" were widely employed in this. This originally Native American skill is now being replicated across the world. Pine needle handicrafts are made in the US, Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua, and India. Pine needles are also versatile and have been used by Latvian designer Tamara Orjola to create different
biodegradable Biodegradation is the breakdown of organic matter by microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. Mechanisms The process of biodegradation can be divided into three stages: biodeterioration, biofragmentation, and assimilation (biology), assimila ...
products including paper, furniture, textiles and dye.


Wildlife

Pine needles serve as food for various
Lepidoptera Lepidoptera ( ; ) is an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or ...

Lepidoptera
. Several species of pine are attacked by
nematodes The nematodes ( or grc-gre, Νηματώδη; la, Nematoda) or roundworms constitute the phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the valu ...
, causing pine
wilt diseaseA wilt disease is any number of diseases that affect the vascular system of plants. Attacks by fungi, bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large do ...
, which can kill some quickly. Some of these Lepidoptera species, many of them moths, specialize in feeding on only one or sometimes several species of pine. Beside that many species of birds and mammals shelter in pine habitat or feed on pine nuts.


Farming

When grown for sawing timber, pine plantations can be harvested after 25 years, with some stands being allowed to grow up to 50 (as the wood value increases more quickly as the trees age). Imperfect trees (such as those with bent trunks or forks, smaller trees, or diseased trees) are removed in a "thinning" operation every 5–10 years. Thinning allows the best trees to grow much faster, because it prevents weaker trees from competing for sunlight, water, and nutrients. Young trees removed during thinning are used for pulpwood or are left in the forest, while most older ones are good enough for saw timber. A 30-year-old commercial pine tree grown in good conditions in Arkansas will be about in diameter and about high. After 50 years, the same tree will be about in diameter and high, and its wood will be worth about seven times as much as the 30-year-old tree. This however depends on the region, species and silvicultural techniques. In New Zealand, a plantation's maximum value is reached after around 28 years with height being as high as and diameter , with maximum wood production after around 35 years (again depending on factors such as site, stocking and genetics). Trees are normally planted 3–4 m apart, or about 1000 per hectare (100,000 per km2).


Food and nutrients

Some species have large
seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was released to generally positi ...

seed
s, called
pine nut Pine nuts, also called piñón (), pinoli (), or pignoli, are the edible seed A seed is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering. The formation of the seed is part of the process of reproduction Reproduction (or procr ...
s, that are harvested and sold for cooking and baking. They are an essential ingredient of ''
pesto Pesto (, ), or (to refer to the original dish) pesto alla genovese (), is a sauce originating in Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, Italy. It traditionally consists of crushed garlic, European pine nuts, coarse salt, Basil, basil leaves, and ha ...

pesto
alla genovese''. The soft, moist, white inner bark (
cambium A cambium (plural cambia or cambiums), in plants, is a tissue layer that provides partially undifferentiated cell Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Closed spaces * Monastic ...
) beneath the woody outer bark is edible and very high in vitamins and . It can be eaten raw in slices as a snack or dried and ground up into a powder for use as an
ersatz An ersatz good () is a substitute goodIn microeconomics Microeconomics (from Greek prefix ''mikro-'' meaning "small" + ''economics'') is a branch of economics that studies the behavior of individuals and Theory of the firm, firms in making d ...
flour or thickener in stews, soups, and other foods, such as bark bread. Adirondack Indians got their name from the Mohawk Indian word ''atirú:taks'', meaning "tree eaters". A
tea Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured A cure is a completely effective treatment for a disease. Cure, or similar, may also refer to: Places * Cure (river), a river in France * Cures, Sabinum, an ...

tea
is made by steeping young, green pine needles in boiling water (known as ''tallstrunt'' in Sweden). In eastern Asia, pine and other conifers are accepted among consumers as a beverage product, and used in teas, as well as wine. Pine needles from ''
Pinus densiflora ''Pinus densiflora'', also called the Japanese red pine, the Japanese pine, or Korean red pine, has a home range that includes Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle ...
'' were found to contain 30.54 mg/g of
proanthocyanidin Proanthocyanidins are a class of polyphenol Polyphenols () are a large family of naturally occurring s characterized by multiples of units. They are abundant in plants and structurally diverse. Polyphenols include s, , and , some of which have ...

proanthocyanidin
s when extracted with hot water. Comparative to ethanol extraction resulting in 30.11 mg/g, simply extracting in hot water is preferable. In
traditional Chinese medicine#REDIRECT Traditional Chinese medicine {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
(TCM),
pine resin In polymer chemistry Polymer chemistry is a sub-discipline of chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, stru ...

pine resin
is used for burns, wounds and dermal complaints.


In culture

Pines have been a frequently mentioned tree throughout history, including in literature, paintings and other art, and in religious texts.


Literature

Writers of various nationalities and ethnicities have written of pines. Among them,
John Muir John Muir ( ; April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914), also known as "John of the Mountains" and "Father of the National Parks#REDIRECT National park A national park is a park in use for Conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, crea ...

John Muir
,
Dora Sigerson Shorter Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter (16 August 1866 – 6 January 1918) was an Irish poet and Sculpture, sculptor, who after her marriage in 1895 wrote under the name Dora Sigerson Shorter. Life She was born in Dublin, Ireland, the daughter of George Sig ...
,
Eugene Field Eugene Field Sr. (September 2, 1850 – November 4, 1895) was an American writer, best known for his children's poetry and humorous essays. He was known as the "poet of childhood". Early life and education Field was born in St. Louis, Missouri ...

Eugene Field
,
Bai Juyi Bai Juyi (also Bo Juyi or Po Chü-i; ; 772–846), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cult ...

Bai Juyi
,
Theodore Winthrop Major Theodore Woolsey Winthrop (September 22, 1828 – June 10, 1861) was a writer, lawyer, and world traveller. He was one of the first Union officers killed in the American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of t ...

Theodore Winthrop
, and Rev. George Allan D.D.


Art

Pines are often featured in art, whether painting and
fine art In European academic traditions, fine art is developed primarily for aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about M ...

fine art
, drawing, photography, or
folk art Traditional styles of faience pottery from Székely Land, Romania, on sale in Budapest in 2014. A conventional idea of folk art, though no doubt made in quasi-industrial conditions. Folk art covers all forms of visual art made in the context ...

folk art
.


Religious texts

Pine trees, as well as other conifers, are mentioned in some verses of
the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Samaritans, Rastafari and others. It appears in the form of an anthology, a compilati ...

the Bible
, depending on the translation. In the
Book of Nehemiah The Book of Nehemiah, in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim. These texts are almos ...
8:15, the
King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an of the Christian for the , which was commissioned in 1604 and published in 1611, by sponsorship of King . The include the 39 books of the , a ...

King James Version
gives the following translation:
"And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and ''pine branches'' mphasis added and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to mak
booths
as it is written."
However, the term here in Hebrew (עץ שמן) means "oil tree" and it is not clear what kind of tree is meant. Pines are also mentioned in some translations of Isaiah 60:13, such as the King James:
"The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious."
Again, it is not clear what tree is meant (תדהר in Hebrew), and other translations use "pine" for the word translated as "box" by the King James (תאשור in Hebrew). Some botanical authorities believe that the Hebrew word "ברוש" (bərōsh), which is used many times in the Bible, designates ''
Pinus halepensis ''Pinus halepensis'', commonly known as the Aleppo pine, is a pine A pine is any Pinophyta, conifer in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family (biology), family Pinaceae. ''Pinus'' is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List compi ...

Pinus halepensis
'', or in
Hosea In the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim. These texts are almost exclusively i ...
14:8 which refers to fruit, ''
Pinus pinea The stone pine, botanical name ''Pinus pinea'', also known as the Italian stone pine, umbrella pine and parasol pine, is a tree from the pine family (''Pinaceae''). The tree is native plant, native to the Mediterranean region, occurring in Sout ...

Pinus pinea
'', the stone pine. The word used in modern Hebrew for pine is "אֹ֖רֶן" (oren), which occurs only in Isaiah 44:14, but two manuscripts have "ארז" ( cedar), a much more common word.


Chinese culture

The pine is a motif in Chinese art and literature, which sometimes combines painting and poetry in the same work. Some of the main symbolic attributes of pines in Chinese art and literature are longevity and steadfastness: the pine retains its green needles through all the seasons. Sometimes the pine and cypress are paired. At other times the pine, plum, and bamboo are considered as the "
Three Friends of Winter The Three Friends of Winter is an art motif that comprises the pine A pine is any Pinophyta, conifer in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family (biology), family Pinaceae. ''Pinus'' is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List com ...
". Eberhard, Wolfram (2003 986 (German version 1983), ''A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought''. London, New York: Routledge. , ''sub'' "Pine". Many Chinese art works and/or literature (some involving pines) have been done using paper, brush, and Chinese ink: interestingly enough, one of the main ingredients for Chinese ink has been pine soot.


Gallery

File:Large eastern white Pine in Southern Ontario, Canada.jpg, A large Pinus strobus, eastern white pine (''Pinus strobus'') in Southern Ontario, Canada File:Big bristlecone pine Pinus longaeva.jpg, Ancient ''Pinus longaeva'', California, USA File:Pinus kesiya Binga.jpg, A Khasi pine in Benguet, Philippines File:Huangshan.jpg, Huangshan pine (''Pinus hwangshanensis''), Anhui, China File:TianguisArtesanalPatzcuaro2016 113.jpg, Pine needle baskets File:Young female Pinus virginiana cone.jpg, A growing female cone of a Scots pine on a mountain in Perry County, Pennsylvania File:Prescribed burn in a Pinus nigra stand in Portugal.JPG, A Controlled burn, prescribed fire in a European black pine (''Pinus nigra'') woodland, Portugal File:Pinus sylvestris prepared for transport, Hungary.jpg, ''Pinus sylvestris'' prepared for transport, Hungary File:Pain floor.jpg, Tongue and groove flooring of solid German pine File:Tree Types and Barks 004.jpg, ''Pinus taeda'' bark File:Chosui Yabu.jpg, Chosui Yabu's inscribed woodcut of “Three Auspicious Friends” (The Three Friends of Winter) in the Brooklyn Museum. The artist was active c. 1830-1864 and the woodcut is dated about 1860 File:Fully grown and fallen fresh female eastern-white pine (pinus strobus).jpg, A fully grown and freshly fallen female pine cone (''Pinus strobus.'') File:Nowe czarnowo-krzywy las.jpeg, Crooked Forest in Nowe Czarnowo, Poland File:Flowering young pine cones.jpg, Flowering young pine cones File:OP 9 The Turpentine Industry (9091242747).jpg, A picture portraying the
turpentine Turpentine (which is also called gum turpentine, spirit of turpentine, oil of turpentine, wood turpentine, terebenthene, terebinthine and (colloquially) turps) is a fluid obtained by the distillation Distillation, or classical distillation, ...
industry File:Rötter - Ystad-2020.jpg, Roots of an old pine in Ystad 2020 File:Forchem Rauma 2.jpg, Forchem tall oil refinery in Rauma, Finland, Rauma, Finland


See also

* Pine Tree Flag * Pine barrens * Pine-cypress forest *
Three Friends of Winter The Three Friends of Winter is an art motif that comprises the pine A pine is any Pinophyta, conifer in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family (biology), family Pinaceae. ''Pinus'' is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List com ...
* El Pino (The Pine Tree) * Tree of Peace *
List of pines by region This is a list of pine species by geographical distribution. For a taxonomy of the genus, see Pinus classification ''Pinus A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of cone-bearing seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, t ...


References


Citations


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * *


External links


40 Pine Trees From Around the World
by The Spruce *, covers Californian species
Pinus in Flora of North AmericaPinus in the USDA Plants Database
{{Authority control Pinaceae Pinus,