Pine Facts

Pine Facts
Pine is coniferous tree that belongs to the family Pinaceae. There are around 115 species of pines that are divided in 3 subgenera based on the type of leaves, cones and seeds. Pines inhabit Northern hemisphere. They can survive in different habitats in the temperate and subtropical climates. Pines can be found on the altitudes of up to 13 000 feet. Most pines grow on the acidic, well drained soil. Pines are highly exploited by humans and often attacked by various insects and fungi. Thanks to these factors, certain species of pines are listed as endangered plants.
Interesting Pine Facts:
Size of the pine depends on the species. They can reach from 10 to 245 feet in height. Most pines grow up to 147 feet. Crown can reach 30 feet in diameter.
Most pines have thick and scaly bark. A lot of branches arise from the same, spirally arranged points on the tree.
Pines have leaves shaped like needles that remain on the trees throughout the whole year (evergreen plants).
Pines reproduce via cones, conically shaped structures that contain male and female sex organs.
Pines are monoecious plants, which mean that one plant produces individual male and female cones.
Pollen from the male cones will be transported to the female cones with the help of wind. Female cones are green and sticky before fertilization. They change the color into brown and harden few years after fertilization, when they become ready to release seeds.
Seeds have wings that facilitate dispersal by wind.
Despite the fact that seeds have low weight, it will be dispersed only 90 feet away from the mother plant.
Squirrels, woodpeckers and other forest animals eat seeds hidden in the cones.
20 different types of pines produce nuts that are used in human diet. They are often baked in the oven or fried in the pan before the consumption.
Nut of the Chinese white pine is mildly toxic. It produces metallic taste in the mouth. This unpleasant sensation vanishes after couple of days. Medical condition associated with consumption of the Chinese white pine is known as Pine Mouth Syndrome.
Pines are best known as Christmas trees, and cones are often used in decorative purposes during the holiday season. Other than that, pines are cultivated in the gardens and parks because of their ornamental morphology.
Pines produce resin that flows from the injured bark. Unfortunately, resin is highly flammable and it facilitates spreading of the forest fire.
Wood of pines is used in the manufacture of furniture, roofs, floors, railroad trails and parts of the ships.
Lifespan of pine depends on the species. They can survive from couple of hundred to couple of thousand years. Oldest known specimen lived until the age of 4800 years.

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