Pine (Pinus)

View of the Pinus ponderosa

Pinus ponderosa - Image - Wikimedia / Walter Siegmund

El Pine it is one of the conifers that we can find most in the northern hemisphere. Normally, it grows as a tree and can exceed ten meters, although there are some species that remain as shrubs.

Although today its roots are known to be quite invasive, it is still a very loved plant in the gardens. So that if you are thinking of planting one, do not hesitate to continue reading 🙂.

From

The cone of Pinus radiata has an elongated shape

Pinus radiata - Image - Flickr / minicooper93402

Pine is an evergreen conifer (It loses the needles -leaves- little by little as the days go by) native to the Northern Hemisphere, with the exception of the Pinus merkusii or Sumatran pine which, as its name suggests, lives on the island of Sumatra.

The genus, Pinus, is composed of 110 species distributed throughout North America including Mexico, Eurasia including the Canary Islands, Eastern Russia, Eastern Siberia, the Philippines, Norway, and Southeast Asia. Many have been introduced in the temperate and subtropical regions of the Southern Hemisphere, such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Australia or Ecuador.

Evolutionary history

Pine is a very primitive conifer

It is one of the most primitive types of plants that exist, since appeared during the Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago, and is one of the few plants that are included in the division of the gymnospermsIn other words, they produce "naked" seeds, without protection. It is considered that about 65 million years ago, during the Tertiary era, many current species already existed.

In the past, it was the Tree (like this, capitalized 🙂) par excellence. Flowering plants, angiosperms, did not appear until 140 million years ago, so if we take into account pine was very successful for 260 million years. In fact, it was able to colonize the forests of the temperate regions of what is now Europe and Asia, between 50 to 70 degrees north latitude, with ease.

But that popularity would not last forever, and when flowering plants began their evolution, the territory that had been occupied by conifers, and therefore pines, began to shrink.

And it is that although the pine is a very resistant plant, their germination rate and growth rate cannot be compared to those of angiosperms: while the seeds of the former can take up to 1 year to germinate, that of flowering trees can germinate in 2-3 weeks (with a few exceptions). Also, conifers are generally slow, while flowering trees… well, they're not that slow 🙂.

Features

View of Pinus canariensis

Pinus canariensis - Image - Wikimedia / Victor R. Ruiz from Arinaga, Canary Islands, Spain

The pine is a conifer with a crown that can be pyramidal or rounded, especially when young, and wide when adult. The leaves, called needles, are linear, green in color. The cones are generally elongated, scaly, and contain winged seeds. It can reach a height between 3 and 60 meters.

Main species

  • Pinus canariensis: is he canary pine. As its name indicates, it is endemic to the Canary Islands, and is considered by the Government of the region as a natural symbol of the island of La Palma. It can reach 60 meters in height, with a trunk diameter of 3m. It has a parasol shape when it is adult, and pyramidal when it is young.
    It is used for its wood, but also as an ornamental for its beauty and its resistance to fire.
  • propagating through a pine forest (Pinus halepensis).: is he Aleppo pine. It is native to the Mediterranean region, and reaches a height of up to 25m. Its trunk does not usually grow straight, which gives it a somewhat wild appearance.
    It is one of those that best resists aridity and high temperatures, hence it is used for the conservation of soils vulnerable to erosion. Its wood is also used to make boxes.
  • (Pinus sylvestris): is he Scots pine or Scots pine. It is native to Eurasia and can reach 30 meters in height. Its most notable feature is the red or russet color of its bark, which gives it a very unique appearance. Its trunk is straight, and its adult crown is irregular and wide.
    It is used for paper, for construction in general and as a medicinal product due to its antiseptic, diuretic, antiviral, antipyretic, immunostimulating and expectorant properties.
  • Pinus nigra: is he black pine, also known as black pine or black pine. It grows from southern Europe, from Spain to the Crimea, also in Asia Minor, Cyprus and locally in the Atlas Mountains (Africa). It grows to a height between 20 and 55 meters, with a more or less straight trunk with brownish-gray or dark gray bark.
    It is used as an ornamental, as it resists drought well.

What are their cares?

View of the Pinus contorta

Pinus contorta - Image -Wikimedia / Walter Siegmund

If you want to have a copy, we recommend that you provide it with the following care:

Location

Being a plant that is normally large and also has invasive roots, It must be planted outside, at a distance of about ten meters from pipes, floors, walls, etc. It is important that it is in full sun, otherwise it will not grow well.

Earth

It will depend on the species, but in principle if the land is fertile and has good drainage there will be no problems.

Irrigation

Moderate. About 2 times a week in summer, and every 6-7 days the rest of the year.

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Scots pine view

It is not necessary, although if you want you can take it from time to time-every 15 days, for example- earthworm humus or cow manure.

Pruning

Not recommended. Pine is a plant that takes its final shape as it grows. It does not need pruning, unless it has branches that obstruct the passage, in which case you can remove them at the end of winter.

Multiplication

It multiplies by seeds in spring. The way to proceed is as follows:

  1. First, a forest seedling tray is filled with universal growing medium.
  2. Then, it is watered thoroughly and copper or sulfur is sprinkled to prevent the appearance of fungi.
  3. Next, the seeds are sown, putting a maximum of two in each socket.
  4. Then they are covered with a thin layer of substrate and watered again, this time with a sprayer.
  5. Finally, the seedbed is placed outdoors, in semi-shade or in full sun.

They will germinate in 1-2 months.

Plagues and diseases

It is very resistant, both to pests and diseases. Now there are some species, like the propagating through a pine forest (Pinus halepensis)., which is especially vulnerable to pine processionary. Although you do not have to worry: with the Bacillus thurigensis (on sale No products found.) you can fight it well.

In addition, if it is watered excessively, the fungi will harm it. To avoid this, you have to control the risks and, if you are interested in preventing as much as possible, treat it with copper or sulfur in spring and autumn.

Rusticity

It will depend on the species, but most resist up to -18ºC No problem. If you have questions with any specific one, contact us 🙂.

What uses does it have?

View of Pinus flexilis

Pinus flexilis - Image - Wikimedia / Doug

Ornamental

Pine is a very decorative plant, used as specimen isolated or in groups. There are many species that fight and / or prevent soil erosion, and others that also resist drought and pollution.

As if that were not enough, it can be worked as bonsai. If you need more information about it, Click here.

Medicinal

As we commented when we saw the main species, some have very interesting medicinal properties, such as Scots pine. But beware, before starting any treatment you have to consult a doctor.

Wood

Pine wood is highly prized for make furniture.

What did you think of the pine?


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