Pine – Long-Lived Tree
Some pine trees are among the oldest living trees on Earth. A bristlecone pine is the oldest living tree. It is 4,800 years old. Pines are found in mountainous places and the cool areas of the northern half of the Earth. There are about 90 varieties of pines. Their cones are the hard scaly clusters that are often used for decorations. Pine trees have needlelike leaves that stay green all year-round.
Pines vary widely in size. Some are only a few meters tall. Others grow taller than 61 meters.
The wood is used in construction as well as for making paper. Resin makes turpentine, paints, and varnishes. Pine oil can be used as medicine.
Brown pine is a medium-sized to tall tree reaching 40 m in height and over 0.9 m in diameter. Tree trunks are often irregularly channelled, spirally fluted or flanged. The crown is dense. Brown pine prefers coastal lowlands where it occurs on deep alluvial soils beside riverbanks.
Brush cypress pine is a medium-sized to tall tree, growing up to 20–39 m in height and 0.6–0.8 m in diameter, with a long cylindrical bole, spreading branches and light green, fine-textured crown.
Bunya pine is a tall tree, growing to 30–45 m in height and up to 1.5 m in diameter, with a straight undivided trunk often free from branches for two-thirds of the tree height. The crown is normally symmetrical and dome-shaped. This species grows on the ranges within about 160 km of the coast. Aboriginal people used to eat bunya seeds either raw or roasted.
Celery top pine reaches 30 m in height and 1 m in diameter. It usually has a straight trunk without buttresses, dark bark and a rather dense dark green crown.
Hoop pine is an impressive tree with heights of up to about 60 m and diameters of 0.6 to 1.9 m. A typical tree has a long straight bole with little taper and is free of branches for up to two-thirds of the tree height.
Huon pine reaches 38 m in height and 1.8 m in diameter. It usually has a straight trunk, but is often forked in the crown. This species grows along the banks of rivers, on swampy flats or near lakes. Huon pine is one of Australia’s longest-lived species.
Kauri pine is a tree attaining 50 m in height and 2.7 m in diameter. The trunk is not buttressed and is usually straight with little taper.
King William pine grows to 30 m in height and 1–1.8 m in diameter. It has long clear trunks with relatively small, tufted crowns.
The bigcone pinyon pine is a small, busy tree with a short trunk that is often contorted. It has widely spreading branches. The tree normally grows to a height between 5 and 10 meters and its trunk measures up to 50 centimeters in diameter. The bark is dark brown in color and is broken into square plates. The most remarkable feature about this pine is its huge cones, that measure from 15 to 25 centimeters long.
Pine is popular in cosmetology, as preparations based on essential oils of pine trees strengthen hair, help active skin regeneration, rejuvenate it, help to get rid of dandruff.
The resin of the ancient pines is amber.
Today, people use pine wood for making artificial silk and leather and produce cellulose.
Pine needles contain a lot of Vitamin C.
Pine symbolizes immortality or longevity in the eastern tradition. This tree is the emblem of Confucius.