A Look into the Growth, Care and Varieties of Pine Trees

A Look into the Growth, Care and Varieties of Pine Trees

One of the most popular trees

Pine trees are beautiful conically shaped trees that are often a part of many societal landscapes. Pine trees are known to be one of the most ecologically important constituents of the environment.

Pine trees are evergreen, they sport a green look throughout the year. The Pine tree generally tends to grow around 3 to 0 meters tall, differing from variety to variety. Most of the Pine tree varieties maintain a common height of around 15 to 45 meters tall. Pine trees are also lauded for being one of the longest living trees. A Pine can easily survive anywhere around 100 to even 1000 years.

Pine trees are also popularly referred to as conifers. Conifer is the term used to refer to trees that have cones. The Pine tree is one of the most common and popular kinds of conifers out there.

What does a Pine Tree Leaf look like?

The adult leaves are known as needles

The foliage of a Pine tree is known to be unique from other general trees. The Pine tree leaf can be of four different kinds. These are stated below.

  • The seed leaves or cotyledons of the plant appear in a whorl of 4 to 24.
  • The juvenile leaves appear on seedlings immediately after planting. The juvenile leaves are generally green or bluish-green and seem to be arranged in a spiral form around the shoot. These leaves are around 2 to 6 centimetres long and stick to the plant for around six months to five years, and sometimes even longer.
  • The scale leaves are brown and rather tiny. As indicated by the colour of the leaves, the scale leaves are not capable of performing photosynthesis. Much like the juvenile leaves, the scale leaves are also arranged in a spiral form around the shoot.
  • The adult leaves, also known as needles of the plant are green and thus capable of performing photosynthesis. These needles are bundled in clusters known as fascicles and each fascicle can consist of around one to seven needles.

The Male and Female Pine Cones

The cones consist of pine seeds

Most Pine trees are monoecious, that is, the tree consists of both pine cones of both sexes. There are also certain sub-dioecious species where the number of male pine cones might be larger than the number of female pine cones or vice-versa. However, no variety of pine trees consists of just one sex of pine cones.

The male cones are typically small in size, measuring just around 1 to 5 centimetres long. These pine cones are present for a shorter period, mostly around the spring or autumn season, and fall off soon after the pollen is shed.

On the other hand, female pine cones can take as long as 1.5 to 3 years, the period differing for different varieties, to mature after they are done pollinating. The female pine cones are generally around 3 to 60 centimetres long.

On reaching maturity, the pine cones open up to release the seeds that can be used to grow a separate set of Pine trees. However, in some varieties, like the Whitebark Pine, a bird needs to break open the pine cone for the seeds to get released. There are also certain varieties of pine cones that lay as they are for several years until an environmental cue triggers their opening and thus initiates the release of the seeds. This act of taking such help from the environment is termed as serotiny.

Growing Pine Trees at Home from Pine Seedlings

Can be easily grown at home

Here is a step-by-step guide to growing Pine trees at Home with the help of Pine seedlings, all by yourself.

  • Start with digging a hole that is around twice as large as the root ball of the Pine seedling. As you dig, make sure that you save the removed soil for future use.
  • Make sure that the hole you dig is deep enough to fit the Pine seedlings and keep it in level with the surface of the soil.
  • Carefully take the pine seedling out of the container that it comes with while purchasing.
  • Gently spread the roots out so that they do not seem to be circling the mass of roots. If necessary, you can also trim the roots a little to prevent them from circling yet again.
  • Slowly and carefully place the Pine seedling into the dug spot. Make sure that the Pine seedling is standing straight.
  • Fill the empty dug area around the Pine seedling with the removed soil that you earlier saved. As you add the soil, keep pressing it down to avoid the formation of air pockets.
  • Once the hole is full, fill the rest of it with water. Allow this water to drain out.
  • Add more soil to completely cover the dug area. Flush with water once again.
  • If the soil seems to settle down after the addition of the water, top it off with some more soil. However, make sure that the soil you add is not going up enough to touch the trunk of the Pine seedling.
  • Finish it off by applying some mulch around the tree. However, make sure that even the mulch should not touch the trunk of the Pine seedling.

Pine Tree Care

Easy to grow and care for

Pine Tree care is often made out to be a big deal. However, that is not the case at all. Pine Tree Care can be a piece of cake if you follow some basic care tips while growing the plant. Here is a brief look at some basic Pine Tree Care Tips that will make caring for a Pine Tree an effortless task.

  • The Ideal Planter: An ideal planter is neither too large nor too small following the current size of the plant. Make sure that the planter you choose is also deep enough to accommodate the growing roots of the Pine trees. The planter should also contain some drainage holes at the bottom to flush out the excess water that could otherwise harm the plant.
  • Potting Mix for the Plant:It is important to plant a Pine tree in soil that is rich in structure. It is also important to make sure that you use a well-draining potting mix. Pine trees love growing in the sandy soil. The plant also prefers growing in some slightly acidic soil.
  • Light Needs:Pine trees love the full sun. The bright sunlight is necessary for the Pine trees as it aids in the plants’ growth. The plant absorbs as much sunlight as it can to help in reaching its full growth potential. There are also a few varieties of the plant that tend to grow well in partial sunlight. Many Pine tree varieties are also known to be quite intolerant to shade.
  • Watering the Plant:When planted newly, Pine trees need to be watered every few days to maintain a moist consistency of the soil. After a month goes by, you can shift to watering the plant once a week. Once the Pine tree is well-established, it can easily tolerate long dry spells and thus, need not be watered as frequently.
  • Fertilizing the Plant: The Pine tree does not require fertilizing in the first year of its growth. During the first fertilization of a Pine tree, it is advisable to use around 0.90 to 1.81 kilograms of a 10-10-10 formulation fertilizer on every square foot of the potting soil. In the following years, you can shift to 0.90 kilograms of fertilizer for every inch of the diameter of the trunk.
  • Pruning the Plant: A Pine tree can always be lightly trimmed to control the size of the tree during the late winter season. However, it is always advisable to not prune completely healthy pine trees. An evergreen Pine tree should never be heavily trimmed. To remove unhealthy growth, it is enough to prune back just to the branch collar.

Pine Tree Varieties

Consists of several varieties

The Pine Tree is one common and popular plant. There are several varieties of the Pine plant, some of which are quite common, while certain others are more on the rare side. Here is a look at some of the most common and popular varieties of Pine trees.

  • Blue Pine:Native to the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush and Karakoram mountains, the Blue Pine tree is popularly referred to as the Bhutan Pine, Himalayan Pine or the Himalayan White Pine. The Blue Pine is scientifically known as the Pinuswallichiana and can easily reach around 30 to 50 meters in height. The Blue Pine is considered to be the most beautiful kind of Pine tree by many admirers.
  • Bristlecone Pine:Scientifically referred to as the Pinusaristata, the Bristlecone Pine is one of the most popular varieties of Pine trees, Native t the mountainous regions, the Bristlecone Pines grow as short evergreens that grow rather slowly but live a much longer life. The Bristlecone Pine trees are marked by their picturesque but gnarled and twisted trunks and can easily live for thousands of years.
  • Eastern White Pine:The Eastern White Pine is scientifically referred to as the Pinusstrobus. Native to the eastern region of North America, the Eastern White Pine is commonly referred to as the Soft Pine and the Northern White Pine as well. The Eastern White Pine tree consists of blue-green foliage and rather flexible needles. The Eastern White Pine can easily grow around 230 feet in height.
  • Norfolk Island Pine:Scientifically referred to as the Araucaria heterophylla, the Norfolk Island Pine is one of the most popular plants out there. The Norfolk Island Pine is known for being the cute little houseplants that are sold as Christmas trees. As you might have guessed, the Norfolk Island Pine can last way beyond the holiday season. However, the Norfolk Island Pine is not a true Pine tree variety.
  • Nut Pine:The Nut Pine or Pine Nut or Stone Pine trees are known for the production of edible Pine nuts. The Pine nuts are consumed as a staple in many indigenous cuisines and are proving to be a popular delicacy all over the world. The Pine Nut trees can grow as long as 200 feet tall. However, they are grown at a more manageable height of around 10 meters.
  • Pencil Pine:Bearing the botanical name Cupressussempervirens ‘Glauca’, the Pencil Pine is one popular and hardy variety of the Pine trees. The Pencil Pine is more on the rare side of the Pine tree varieties. The Pencil Pine loves being exposed to the full sun and prefers some slightly acidic soil to grow. The plant is quite tolerant of dry conditions and can thrive well in certain extreme conditions as well.
  • Pinusgerardiana:The PinusGerardiana is commonly referred to as the Chilgoza plant or the Gerard Pine. Native to the Himalayan region, the PinusGerardiana is listed as a Pine Variety that is at lower risk or near threatened. The PinusGerardiana can easily grow up to a height of around 32 to 65 feet. Chilgoza is an important cash crop for the people living in certain regions in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Screw Pine:Native to the regions of South Asia, Madagascar, Southwestern Islands of the Pacific Ocean, the Screw Pine is also commonly known as Pandanus. The Screw Pine is one dynamic tropical plant that has over 600 different species in its name. The Screw Pine can easily grow up to a height of 25 meters but is often grown at a more manageable height indoors.

FAQS                                               

Can pine trees grow in India?

Yes, pine trees can very well be grown in India. Just ensure that you grow the plant at a sunny spot where it is adequately exposed to the full sun. Also, don’t forget to water the plant enough during the first few months of planting.

Where are pine forests found in India?

In India, pine forests are present in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the northeastern state of Sikkim.

Who brought pine trees to India?

In India, pine trees were introduced by the British. The Pine trees were first in certain regions of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Is pine tree found in Himachal Pradesh?

Yes, Pine trees are a commonality in Himachal Pradesh. Pinusgerardiana, Pinuswallichiana and Pinusroxburghii are three varieties that are commonly found in Himachal Pradesh.

What differentiates a Christmas tree from a pine tree?

One difference between a Christmas tree and a pine tree is that pine trees are evergreen whereas Christmas trees are seasonal. However, certain Pine tree varieties are often used in various households as Christmas trees during the holiday season.

What do you mean by 'Pine Nuts'?

The term pine nuts refer to edible seeds of certain varieties of Pine trees. The Pine nuts are consumed as a staple in many indigenous cuisines and are proving to be a popular delicacy all over the world.

Why are the pine trees always green?

Pine trees are always green because they are evergreen plants. The term evergreen plant is used to refer to plants that remain green throughout the year.

What trees grow in sandy soil?

Many trees prefer growing in sandy soil. Some examples of such trees are Cucumber, Lavender, Potatoes, Pine trees, etc.

Are pine trees native to the southern hemisphere?

Pine trees are mostly native to the northern hemisphere. However, some varieties are also native to the tropical regions of the southern hemisphere.

What are pine trees good for?

Pine trees are known to be one of the most commercially important trees. The wood pulp and timber of the Pine trees are highly valued. Pine trees are largely used for the production of carpentry.

How does elevation help a Pine tree?

Elevation can aid in the growth of a Pine tree. This is because the elevation prevents the tree from losing excess water through its needles or leaves.

 


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