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Monday, 27 February 2017

Pine tree

Pine trees are evergreen, coniferous resinous trees (or, occasionally shrubs) that live in almost the entire Northern Hemisphere.

Pine trees grow 3–80 m (10–260 ft) tall, with the majority of species reaching 15–45 m (50–150 ft) tall.
Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora), North Korea. By yeowatzup at Flickr .

The smallest are Siberian dwarf pine and Potosi pinyon, and the tallest is a 81.79 m (268.35 ft) tall ponderosa pine located in southern Oregon's Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

The oldest pine tree is a Pinus longaeva growing in the White Mountains of eastern California. The tree was given the age of 5062 years in the growing season of 2012, (germination in 3050 BC). This also makes it the world's oldest known living non-clonal organism.

On August 6, 1964 American researcher Donald Currey had a bristlecone pine tree known as Prometheus cut down in the Wheeler Bristlecone Pine Grove at Great Basin National Park near Baker, Nevada, only to find that it was the oldest known non-clonal organism ever discovered at the time, with the age of 4,862 years.

The stump (lower left) and some remains of the Prometheus tree (center).

A 10-foot tall pine tree planted in memory of George Harrison near Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory in 2004 lived for 10 years. Ironically it died after being infested by....beetles.

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).

Scots pine is the only pine native to northern Europe and is an important tree in forestry. The wood is used for pulp and sawn timber products and its yield of turpentine, tar and pitch.

Scots Pine Cairngorm National Park, Scotland. By Hello, I am Bruce on Flickr

Pine trees scatter their needles across the forest floor to make it easier for fires to burn all of the other trees - pine is fire resistant so it survives.

The orange color of the soil in Ibiza comes from the tannin in the pine needles that fall from the island's many pine trees.

Pines are mostly monoecious, having the male and female cones 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. The female cones take 1.5–3 years (depending on species) to mature after pollination, with actual fertilization delayed one year.

The largest pine cone in the world comes from a coulter pine. Coulter pine occur in small areas of the west. The fresh cones can weigh up to 10 pounds.

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