Pine is a coniferous tree that falls under the genus Pinus of the family Pinaceae. Pine trees can grow up to 80 meters tall. There are about 126 species names of pines so far along with 35 unresolved species. Pines grow edible seeds that are commonly eaten by birds. It is because of these birds, the pine seeds are distributed to new areas establishing a new colony of pine forest.
Pine trees can live for thousands of years. Pines typically can reach the age of 100 years and some species of pine can live for more than a thousand years. The oldest pine tree is located in the White Mountains of California, named “Methuselah” this tree is around 4,600 years old.
Pines grow well in acid soil, some also on calcareous soils, most require good soil drainage, preferring sandy soils, but few will tolerate poorly drained wet soils. Some of these trees even survive forest fires. The barks of most pines are thick and scaly. The branches are produces in a very tight spiral like ring of branches arising from the same point. Many pines are “Uninodal” i.e. those produce just one whorl of branches each year, from the buds at the tip. But others are “Multinodal” i.e. those produce two or more whorl branches per year. The spiral growth of branches, needles, and cone scales are arranged in Fibonacci Order.
Pines are the commercially used trees for making wooden products. They are important tree species valued for their timber and wood pulp. In temperate and tropical regions, they are fast growing softwoods that will grow in relatively dense stands, their acidic decaying needles inhibiting the sprouting of competing hardwoods. The commercial or cultivated pine trees are grown in plantations for timber that is denser, more resinous, and therefore more durable than Picea. Pines are highly used in high value carpentry items such as furniture, window frames, paneling, Roofing and many more.
Pines have no insect or decay resistant qualities after logging, they are generally recommended for construction purposes as indoor use only. This wood left outside can be expected to last more than 12 – 18 months depending on the local climate.