Pinus classification for complete taxonomy to species level. See
list of pines by region for list of species by geographic
Range of Pinus
A pine is any conifer in the genus Pinus, /ˈpiːnuːs/, of the
Pinus is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae.
Plant List compiled by the
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri
Garden accepts 126 species names of pines as current,
together with 35 unresolved species and many more synonyms.
3 Taxonomy, nomenclature and codification
Lumber and construction
6.2 Ornamental uses
6.5 Food and nutrients
7 In popular culture
7.3 Religious texts
8 See also
10 External links
Pine forest in Vagamon, southern Western Ghats, Kerala (India)
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 fura, by way of Middle English
firre). In some European languages, Germanic cognates of the Old Norse
name are still in use for pines—in Danish fyr, in Norwegian
fura/fure/furu, Swedish fura/furu, Dutch vuren, and German
Föhre—but in modern English, fir is now restricted to fir (Abies)
Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga).
Pinus longaeva, Nevada, USA
Pine trees are evergreen, coniferous resinous trees (or, rarely,
shrubs) growing 3–80 m (10–260 ft) tall, with the
majority of species reaching 15–45 m (50–150 ft) tall.
The smallest are
Siberian dwarf pine
Siberian dwarf pine and Potosi pinyon, and the
tallest is an 81.79 m (268.35 ft) tall ponderosa pine
located in southern Oregon's Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
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",
is one of the world's oldest living organisms at around
4,600 years old. This tree can be found in the White Mountains 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" after the Greek
Pinus taeda bark
The bark 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 buds at the tip of the
year's new shoot, but others are multinodal, producing two or more
whorls of branches per year. The spiral growth of branches, needles,
and cone scales may be arranged in
Fibonacci number ratios.[citation
needed] 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 foresters a
means to evaluate fertility of the soil and vigour of the trees.
Illustration of needles, cones, and seeds of
Scots pine (Pinus
Pines have four types of leaf:
Seed leaves (cotyledons) 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) 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 is damaged (e.g. eaten by an animal), the needle fascicles just
below the damage will generate a bud which can then replace the lost
A growing female cone of a
Scots pine on a mountain in Perry County,
A fully grown and freshly fallen female pine cone (pinus strobus.)
Pines are mostly monoecious, having the male and female cones on the
same tree, though a few species are sub-dioecious, with individuals
predominantly, but not wholly, single-sex. 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. The female cones take 1.5–3 years
(depending on species) to mature after 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 (wind-dispersed), but some are
larger and have only a vestigial wing, and are bird-dispersed (see
below). At maturity, the cones usually open to release the seeds, but
in some of the bird-dispersed species (e.g. whitebark pine), the seeds
are only released by the bird breaking the cones open. In others, the
seeds are stored in closed ("serotinous") cones for many years until
an environmental cue triggers the cones to open, releasing the seeds.
The most common form of serotiny is pyriscence, in which a resin binds
the cones shut until melted by a forest fire.
Taxonomy, nomenclature and codification
Pines are gymnosperms. The genus is divided into three subgenera,
which 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
Pinus subg. Ducampopinus, the foxtail or pinyon group
Pinus subg. Strobus, the white, or soft pine group, generally with
softer wood and five needles per fascicle
Khasi pine in Benguet, Philippines
Huangshan pine (
Pinus hwangshanensis), Anhui, China
Pines are native to the Northern Hemisphere, and in a few parts of the
tropics in the Southern Hemisphere. Most regions of the Northern
Hemisphere (see List of pines by region) host some 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 5,200
metres (17,100 ft), 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 and subtropical
regions of both hemispheres, where they are grown as 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 in some areas and threaten native ecosystems.
A prescribed fire in a
European black pine
European black pine (
Pinus nigra) woodland,
Pines grow well in acid soils, some also on calcareous soils; most
require good soil drainage, preferring sandy soils, but a few (e.g.
lodgepole pine) can tolerate poorly drained wet soils. A few are able
to sprout after forest fires (e.g. Canary Island pine). Some species
of pines (e.g. bishop pine) need fire to regenerate, and their
populations slowly decline under fire suppression regimens. Several
species are adapted to extreme conditions imposed by elevation and
latitude (e.g. Siberian dwarf pine, mountain pine, whitebark pine, and
the bristlecone pines). The pinyon pines and a number of others,
Turkish pine and gray pine, are particularly well adapted to
growth in hot, dry semidesert climates.
The seeds are commonly eaten by birds, such as grouse, crossbills,
jays, nuthatches, siskins, and woodpeckers, and by squirrels. Some
birds, notably the spotted nutcracker, Clark's nutcracker, and pinyon
jay, are of importance in distributing pine seeds to new areas. Pine
needles are sometimes eaten by some
Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth)
species (see list of
Lepidoptera that feed on pines), the Symphytan
species pine sawfly, and goats.
Pine pollen may play an important role in the functioning of detrital
food webs. 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.
Pinus ponderosa, Arizona, USA
Pinus sylvestris prepared for transport, Hungary
Lumber and construction
Tongue and groove
Tongue and groove solid pine flooring
Pines are among the most commercially important tree species valued
for their timber and wood pulp throughout the world. In
temperate and tropical regions, they are fast-growing softwoods that
grow in relatively dense stands, their acidic decaying needles
inhibiting the sprouting of competing hardwoods. Commercial pines are
grown in plantations for timber that is denser, more resinous, and
therefore more durable than spruce (Picea).
Pine wood is widely used
in high-value carpentry items such as furniture, window frames,
panelling, floors, and roofing, and the resin of some species is an
important source of turpentine.
Because pines have no insect- or decay-resistant qualities after
logging, they are generally recommended for construction purposes as
indoor use only (ex. indoor drywall framing). This wood left outside
can be expected to last no more than 12–18 months depending on the
local climate. It is commonly referred to by several different names
which include North American timber, spruce/pine/fir (SPF), and
Many pine species make attractive ornamental plantings for parks and
larger gardens with a variety of dwarf cultivars being suitable for
smaller spaces. Pines are also commercially grown and harvested for
Pine cones, the largest and most durable of all
conifer cones, 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 "Georgia
pine" were widely employed in this. This originally Native
American skill is now being replicated across the world.
handicrafts are made in the US, Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua, and India.
Pine needles serve as food for various Lepidoptera. See List of
Lepidoptera that feed on pines. Several species are attacked by
nematodes, causing pine wilt disease, which can kill some quickly.
When grown for sawing timber, pine plantations can be harvested after
30 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, while most older ones
are good enough for saw timber.
The final wood quality can be improved by pruning small branches at
ages 5, 7, and 9. Pruning usually goes up to a height of 6 metres
(20 ft). This results in smooth timber with no knots, which is
considerably more valuable. 
A 30-year-old commercial pine tree grown in good conditions will be
about 0.3 m (1.0 ft) in diameter and about 20 m
(66 ft) high. After 50 years, the same tree will be about
0.5 m (1.6 ft) in diameter and 25 m (82 ft) high,
and its wood will be worth about seven times as much as the
30-year-old tree. 
Trees are planted 3–4 m apart, or about 1000 per hectare (100,000
Food and nutrients
Edible seeds of the Korean pine (
Some species have large seeds, called pine nuts, that are harvested
and sold for cooking and baking. They are an essential ingredient of
pesto alla genovese.
The soft, moist, white inner bark (cambium) found clinging to the
woody outer bark is edible and very high in vitamins A and C. It can
be eaten raw in slices as a snack or dried and ground up into a powder
for use as an ersatz 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 made by steeping young, green pine needles in boiling water
(known as tallstrunt in Sweden) is high in vitamins A and C. 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 were found to contain
30.54 mg/g of proanthocyanidins when extracted with hot
water. Comparative to ethanol extraction resulting in
30.11 mg/g, simply extracting in hot water is preferable.
Proanthocyanidins, the nutrient for which wine and grapes are famed
and grapeseed extract is used medicinally, is in nearly the same
quantity in pine needles of P. densiflora as it is in grape juice
(35 mg/g). Grapeseed extract from cultivated grapes is 48.9 to
In popular culture
By Camille Pissarro.
Pines have been a frequently mentioned tree throughout history,
including in literature, paintings and other art, and in religious
Writers of various nationalities and ethnicities have written of
pines. Among them, John Muir, Dora Sigerson Shorter, Eugene
Field, the Chinese, Theodore Winthrop, and Rev. George
Pines are often featured in art, whether painting and fine art,
drawing, photography, or folk art.
Pine trees, as well as other conifers, are mentioned in The Bible. In
Nehemiah 8:15, the
King James Version
King James Version renders the following
"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 [emphasis added], and myrtle branches, and palm
branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is
Pines are also mentioned in Isaiah 41:
"17: When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their
tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of
Israel will not forsake them. 18: I will open rivers in high places,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness
a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 19: I will plant
in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the
oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the
box tree together: 20: That they may see, and know, and consider, and
understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the
Holy One of Israel hath created it."
And in Isaiah 60:
"13: 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."
Three Friends of Winter
El Pino (The
Tree of Peace
List of pines by region
^ Sunset Western
Garden Book, 1995:606–607
Plant List Version 1.1". Retrieved 15 December 2015.
^ "Where Are You From? - Credo Reference". credoreference.com.
^ Fattig, Paul (2011-01-23). "Tallest of the tall". Mail Tribune.
Medford, Oregon. Archived from the original on 2013-02-21. Retrieved
^ Ryan, Michael; David M. Richardson (December 1999). "The Complete
Pine". BioScience. 49 (12): 1023–1024. doi:10.2307/1313736.
^ a b Burton Verne Barnes; Warren Herbert Wagner (January 2004).
Michigan Trees: A Guide to the Trees of the Great Lakes Region.
University of Michigan Press. pp. 81–. ISBN 0-472-08921-8.
Archived from the original on 2016-05-11.
Pinus ssp. (tree), General Impact". Global Invasive Species
Database. Invasive Species Specialist Group. 13 March 2006. Archived
from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
^ a b c Filipiak, Michał (2016-01-01). "
Pollen Stoichiometry May
Influence Detrital Terrestrial and Aquatic Food Webs". Behavioral and
Evolutionary Ecology. 4: 138. doi:10.3389/fevo.2016.00138. Archived
from the original on 2016-12-21.
^ "Choosing a
Timber Species -
Timber Frame HQ".
Timber Frame HQ.
^ "Trees for pulp" (PDF). Paper.org.
^ "5 Ways to Decorate with
Pine Boughs". Home Decorating Trends -
Homedit. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
^ McAfee, M. J. (Mary Jane) (1911). The pine-needle basket book. The
Library of Congress. New York : Pine-Needle Pub. Co.
Plantation Rotation" (PDF). Forests NSW. Archived (PDF)
from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved April 2016. Check
date values in: access-date= (help)
^ Frank A. Roth II, Extension Forester. "Thinning to improve pine
timber" (PDF). University of Arkensas Division of Agriculture.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-09. Retrieved April
2016. Check date values in: access-date= (help)
^ Zeng WC, Jia LR, Zhang Y, Cen JQ, Chen X, Gao H, Feng S, Huang YN.
2011. Antibrowning and antimicrobial activities of the water-soluble
extract from pine needles of
Cedrus deodara. J Food Sci 76: C318-C323
Park YS, Jeon MH, Hwang HJ,
Park MR, Lee SH, Kim SG, Kim M (August
2011). "Antioxidant activity and analysis of proanthocyanidins from
Pinus densiflora) needles". Nutrition Research and Practice. 5
(4): 281–7. doi:10.4162/nrp.2011.5.4.281. PMC 3180677 .
^ "Grapes". www.raysahelian.com. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
^ Trad, Mehdi; Bourvellec, Carine Le; Hamda, Hmida Ben; Renard,
Catherine M. G. C.; Harbi, Mounira (2017-11-01). "Flavan-3-ols and
procyanidins in grape seeds: biodiversity and relationships among wild
and cultivated vines". Euphytica. 213 (11): 242.
doi:10.1007/s10681-017-2032-z. ISSN 0014-2336.
^ Muir, John. The Yosemite.
^ Shorter, Dora Sigerson. The Secret.
^ Field, Eugene. Poems of Childhood/Norse Lullaby.
^ Juyi, Bai. More Translations from the Chinese.
^ Winthrop, Theodore. Life in the Open Air.
^ The Book of Scottish Song.
^ Pissarro, Camille (before 1903), Work by Camille Pissarro, retrieved
2018-01-04 Check date values in: date= (help)
^ 60, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N. L. , and A. Brown 1913
Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada Vol 1: (1913),
Pinus strobus L., retrieved 2018-01-04
^ "Free Image on Pixabay -
Pine Trees, Winter, White, Cold". Retrieved
^ "NEHEMIAH 8:15 KJV "And that they should publish and proclaim in all
their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto..."".
www.kingjamesbibleonline.org. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
Farjon, A. 1984, 2nd edition 2005. Pines. E. J. Brill, Leiden.
Little, E. L., Jr., and Critchfield, W. B. 1969. Subdivisions of the
Pinus (Pines). US Department of Agriculture Misc. Publ. 1144
(Superintendent of Documents Number: A 1.38:1144).
Richardson, D. M. (ed.). 1998. Ecology and Biogeography of Pinus.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 530
p. ISBN 0-521-55176-5
Sulavik, Stephen B. 2007. Adirondack; Of Indians and Mountains,
1535-1838. Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns, NY. 244
p. ISBN 1-930098-79-0 ISBN 978-1-930098-79-4
Mirov, N. T. 1967. The
Genus Pinus. Ronald Press, New York (out of
Classification of pines
Gymnosperm Database - Pinus
Mirov, N. T.; Stanley, R. G. (1959). "The
Pine Tree". Annual Review of
Plant Physiology. 10: 223.
Philips, Roger. Trees of
North America and Europe, Random House, Inc.,
New York ISBN 0-394-50259-0, 1979.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pinus.
Pine Trees From Around the World by The Spruce
Pinus from the Jepson Manual, covers Californian species
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Pinus in the USDA Plants Database
Genera of the
Sources of tannins
Areca catechu seed
Myrtan or black marlock
Tanner's sumach leaves -
Rhus coriaria or Chinese gall on Rhus
General : Tanbark
Acacias (most notably
Acacia pycnantha and Acacia decurrens)
Prosopis sp. bark and wood
Tizra heartwood and root
Anadenanthera colubrina (vilca)
Bow and arrow
Cedar (Calocedrus, Cedrus)
Linden (lime, basswood)
Crown of thorns
Mortise and tenon
Tongue and groove
American Association of Woodturners
Architectural Woodwork Institute
Wood Workers' International
Caricature Carvers of America
International Federation of Building and
Wood Carvers Association
Timber Framers Guild
Frame and panel