Pines are the evergreen and resinous trees that belong to the genus Pinus and the family Pinaceae. They are gymnosperms and cone-bearing trees, and this is the reason why pines are often termed as conifers. Pine trees have great commercial value for their wood. They are also widely used for landscaping purposes due to their unique and striking foliage.
Types of Pine Trees
The pine tree family includes approximately 115 species of pines. However, the opinions of the experts vary considerably in this regard, for which it is generally accepted that about 105 to 125 species of pine trees exist throughout the world, of which some popular varieties are mentioned below.
Pinus lambertiana or sugar pine is the largest species of pine, that generally reaches a height of about 40 to 60 meters with a trunk diameter of 5 to 8 feet. Sugar pines are giant trees that bear the longest cones, which can grow to attain a size of about 11 to 21 inches. This is one of the most distinguishing features of a sugar pine. This tree is mainly found in the mountains of Oregon and California.
White Pine Trees
Several types of pines belong to the group of white pine trees, of which the eastern and the western white pine trees are noteworthy. Eastern white pine is native to eastern North America, and it has the reputation of being the tallest tree in this part of the world with a height of about 50 to 80 feet.
This beautiful tree with greenish or bluish foliage is ideal to be used for landscaping purposes. It is accepted as the official tree of Ontario. The western pine tree is also a giant tree, that can reach a height of about 90 to 110 feet, with bluish-green foliage. It is native to the western United States and Canada. It is related to the eastern white pine, and is widely grown as an ornamental tree.
This pine tree is mainly found in North America and the southeast United States. This pine is characterized by dark green, needle-like leaves, that are found in bundles of three. It can grow to a length of 18 inches, and is known to bear the longest needles among all the pine trees that usually grow in North America. The Longleaf Pine or Pinus palustris has a lot of commercial significance, as it is a source of several resinous products, including turpentine and tar.
This tree is also known by the names of shortleaf yellow, southern yellow, shortstraw, or Arkansas soft pine. This pine tree widely found in the eastern United States, and it usually reaches a height of 20 to 30 meter. The leaves of this pine are also needle-shaped, like the Longleaf Pine, but they occur in bundles of two and three together. Being a source of wood pulp, lumber, and plywood veneer, the Shortleaf Pine or Pinus echinata has great commercial significance.
The bristlecone pine or pinus aristata is an evergreen tree with needle-like foliage. It usually reaches a height of 20 feet, and is characterized by irregular shape. It grows quite slowly, but is known for its longevity. A bristlecone pine tree, which is given the name 'Methuselah', and has been estimated to be more than 4700 years old, is one of the oldest known living organisms. Another distinguishing characteristic of bristlecone pines is that their wood is so dense and resinous that it can resist the growth of bacteria, fungi, and many other pests that cause plant diseases.
This is a tall evergreen pine, that is native to northeastern parts of North America. It can reach a height of 70 feet, with its characteristic red bark. The foliage of this tree is dark green in color, and they are soft and needle-shaped. Red pine or Pinus resinosa is the state tree of Minnesota, and its wood has great commercial value as timber.
The foxtail pine or Pinus balfouriana is a rare species that can be found in California. This tree is also characterized by needle-like foliage, that occur in bundles of five. The leaves are 2 to 4 cm long and dark green in color, and are a bit glossy on the outer surface, while their inner surface is white. Another peculiarity of the leaves is that they are sheathless, and are clustered together at the end of the branches, which give them the look of a fox's tail. The foxtail pine usually reaches a height of 10 to 20 meters. Rarely, it can attain a height of 35 meters.
Bull pine, Cuban pine, Mexican weeping pine, jack pine, Austrian or black pine, sequoias, tamarack, red spruce, white spruce, Sitka spruce, red cedar, etc., are some other common types of pine trees. Almost 35 species of pine trees are found throughout North America. These trees have immense commercial importance, and are widely used for forestry and landscaping.