Pine is one of the most widely used genus of plants commercially and this detailed report highlights features & characteristics of the pine including common names, description, geography, uses and types of artificial pine.
Additional Pine Names:
Long Needle, Rocky Mountain, Scotch, White, Red, Long Leaf, Short Leaf or Yellow, Norway, Jack, Lodgepole, Foxtail, Pinons, Loblolly, Cuban or Slash
The genus Pine belongs in the family Pinaceae. There are about 115 different species of Pines. The majority of pines reach an average of 15 to 45 m tall (50’ to 150’). Pines are long lived, typically reaching ages of 100 to 1000 years, sometimes longer. The bark of most pines is thick and scaly, but some pines have thin, flaking bark. The branches are produced in whorls, a very tight spiral, but actually looking like a ring of branches arising from the same point.
Pine trees have 4 different types of leaves. 1. Seed leaves (on seedlings) that have whorls of 4 to 24 branches. 2. Juvenile leaves - which follow immediately on seedlings, and are arranged spirally on the shoots. 3. Scale Leaves – similar to bud scales, and are arranged spirally like the juvenile leaves. 4. Needles – the adult leaves, bundled into clusters, commonly 2 to 5 needles per bundle, each produced on a small bud of the scale leaves. These needles persist for 1.5 to 40 years depending on the species of the pine tree. If the shoot is damaged, the needle just below the damaged area will generate a bud which can replace the lost leaves.
Pine trees are the only species of trees that reproduce from seeds in a cone. The female flowers of the trees are called cones. Male cones are typically smaller than female cones, and are only present for a short period of time (usually from spring thru autumn). Male cones fall from the tree as soon as they have shed their pollen. Female cones can take 1.5 to 3 years to mature after pollination. At maturity, the female cones are 3 to 60 cm long (1.2” to 23”).
Pine trees can grow in any soil, and anywhere in the world. Most require good soil drainage, preferring sandy soils, but a few will tolerate poorly drained wet soils. Of the seven continents, pine trees have been found to be growing in six. Pines have been introduced in subtropical and temperate portions of the Southern Hemisphere.
Pine trees are the most commercially important species of trees, valued for their timber and wood pulp. Pine wood is widely used in high value carpentry items such as furniture, window frames, paneling, floors, and roofing. Pine trees make attractive ornamental plantings for parks and larger gardens. Pine cones are craft favorites. Pine trees are commercially grown and harvested for Christmas Trees. Pine needles can also be used for making decorative items such as baskets, pots, trays, etc.
Some species of pine trees have large seeds, called pine nuts that are harvested and sold for cooking and baking. The white inner bark found clinging to the outer bark is edible and very high in vitamins A and C. Also, a tea can be made by young, green pine needles in boiling water. This is also very high in vitamins A and C.
Fake pine leaves are used to make artificial pine trees
, garlands, swags, pine branches, topiary trees and bushes. The most popular varieties of artificial pine include; Long Needle, Rocky Mountain, White, Austrian, Mugo, Cedar, Red, Norway & Scotch pine. The majority of pine branches are manufactured from PVC or plastic materials and are available with or without artificial pine cones.
The most common use for small artificial pine trees is in the holiday décor business. Christmas trees are made from artificial pine sprays and typically are fire resistant or flame retardant. These potted pine trees are available flocked with artificial snow and come decorated with assorted ornaments. In addition to traditional artificial Christmas trees, pine branches are used to manufacture less ornate pine trees that are more rugged and rustic looking. These types of decorative pine trees
are used in retail displays, habitat exhibits, museums and themed restaurants.