Description and use of common pine
Pine ordinary is a tall plant, which most people are used to seeing only in coniferous forests. In private areas, such trees are rare, but, given the useful properties of the plant and its attractive appearance, it is not surprising that some gardeners try to plant a conifer next to their house. What exactly are the advantages of this tree and how to properly organize care for it at home - more on that below.
The appearance of the common pine changes as the tree grows, therefore, in young plants, the cone-shaped crown is predominantly, and in adult specimens it becomes more like an umbrella (wide-oval). The annual growth of the plant is at least 30 cm per year, so 10-year-old specimens reach 4 m in height. After decades of growing, mature pine growth ranges from 25–40 m, depending on the specific climatic region of its growth.So, the largest representatives of the species grow on the coast of the Baltic Sea and are often characterized by a 46-meter height, with a trunk diameter in the lower part of more than two meters. Of course, in young specimens these values are not so impressive, but, having created a tree with good conditions for growth and development, the gardener will have a chance to grow a real giant on his plot.
Did you know? The tallest pine tree in the world is Lambert pine, growing in Oregon (USA). Its height is 81.79 m.
The trunk of the ordinary pine is usually curved, but in the absence of pests and diseases during the growing season it can be smooth. The bark of young shoots is first green, then grayish, and subsequently acquires a predominantly orange color. The trunk is gray-brown in color, with deep cracks. On the main conductor of the tree, thick plates of bark almost always form, which can have different shapes and sizes.
At the beginning of the development of a tree, its branches are arranged rhythmically from all sides, but with age they seem to be scattered around in random order. The reason is the simultaneous death of old branches. The needles of common pine have a gray-green color, but mature trees are often characterized by dark green, and in the winter and yellowish-green color.Rigid needles are bundled in 2 pieces and, on average, grow to a length of 4–7 cm, with a width of 2 mm. Their edges are covered with notches, and stomatal lines are clearly visible on the surface. The average life span of the needles is 2–4 years, but in a subtropical climate, this period can increase to 9 years. It is noteworthy that young and fast-growing plants usually have needles, twice as long as in adult trees, and they are grouped not in 2, but in 3-4 pieces.
Cones of common pine, whose ripening occurs in the winter months, grow predominantly singly, occasionally grouping in 2-3 pieces. Their matte surface is grayish-brown, and the shape resembles an elongated egg, with a slight sharpening at the end. The length of adult fruits is up to 7.5 cm, but the seeds inside can grow no more than 4–5 mm.
The nutrition of the described plant is carried out thanks to a powerful rod rhizome, the main root of which can go 2 meters deep into the ground. Under good growth conditions, the tree has a life span of 150–350 years, however, trees grow in the forests of Sweden, Norway and some other countries, the age of which, according to scientists, is 700 years and even more.
Spread in nature
Often, ordinary pine is called European, but it is spread over a fairly vast territory, starting from Portugal, Turkey, Mongolia, the Caucasus and ending with Eastern Siberia or even the Arctic Circle.A tree is also naturalized in Canada, the climatic conditions of which suit him best.
In the natural environment of growth, the culture forms pure pine forests, although it can be combined with oak, aspen, spruce and birch. Depending on the subspecies and form, the plant is located at an altitude of 0 to 2600 m above sea level and, in any case, is provided with everything necessary for active growth and development.
The range of common pine is so extensive that within the species there are at least 100 subspecies, forms and ecotypes characteristic of a particular locality. Based on them, scientists have come up with many new varietal variations of the tree, but most of them have similar external features, and the difference between plants is noticeable only when conducting genetic analysis and studying the composition of the resin, which is more interesting to scientists during selection work.To choose the most suitable variant of pine for growing, it is worthwhile to carefully examine the main subspecies of plants and its varietal varieties.
Despite the presence in nature of a large number of subspecies of Scots pine, only a few of them became the most demanded in the culture, which are best taken root in private areas and are characterized by low demanding care.
Did you know? The owner of the longest needles in the pine world is a swamp pine, the needles of which often reach 40–45 cm in length, with an average length of 2-3 cm.
In this case, we are talking about:
- Pinus Sylvestris var. Hamata or Hamata. It is considered the most heat-loving variety of ordinary pine, therefore it is most often found in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Crimea and Turkey, where it prefers elevated areas at an altitude of up to 2600 m above sea level. The main difference from other subspecies is the special chemical composition and green-blue color of the needles, which does not grow dull in winter. It has elongated-conical cones, with hook-shaped scales bent to the base. The trunk of the tree can be straight or slightly bent with brownish-gray, deeply cracked bark. Depending on the growing conditions, the plant reaches a height of 20–25 m.
- Pinus Sylvestris var. Mongolica or Mongolica. This subspecies is more common in Siberia, Transbaikalia, Mongolia and in the northwestern parts of China, mainly at an altitude of up to 2000 m above sea level. Unlike other pines, it has more dull green needles, with needles up to 12 cm in length (by winter they become yellowish). Pines of this species often reach a height of 40–42 m and are considered one of the highest.
- Pinus Sylvestris var. Lapponica or Lapponica. This subspecies is considered the ancestor of most European cultivars. For the most part, the tree is common in Europe, but is often found in Central Siberia, withstanding significant temperature drops (to -35 ° C). The main difference from the above varieties is short and stiff needles, as well as the possibility of the formation of a bushy creeping shape. Tree-shaped plants usually reach a height of 30 m.
Scots pine became the basis for breeding a variety of varietal variations of this crop, with different features of the appearance. So, along with standard columnar trees, in the private gardens of Russian citizens you can find shrubby or dwarf forms of plants, with silver-gray, bluish-green, milky yellow or even completely yellow needles.
Important! Despite his love of sunlight, in the first year of cultivation, all of the above varieties must be shaded, otherwise there is a possibility of getting needles of burns, which will reduce the decorativeness of the plant.
Some of the varieties are really very unusual, and the following are among the most popular:
- Globosa viridis (a synonym in Latin Pinus nigra subsp.) is a slow-growing pine, with a spherical shape of the crown at the beginning of its development and unevenly pyramidal at a more mature age. The height of an adult tree is 2.5 m, with a trunk diameter of 1.8 m. The crown is dense, dark green in color, with long needles. The shoots are dense and reach the very ground, and the effect of their “plushiness” is created due to the two-dimensional length of the needles: the needles on last year’s branches grow to 10 cm, and on the shoots of the current year they are always much shorter (appearing in the summer, they manage to grow only half). For the best development of the plant and the crown to achieve maximum decorativeness, it is advisable to plant seedlings in open and sunny areas.
- Watereri. Slow-growing dwarf variety, not more than 8 m high (the width of the crown also corresponds to these values). At the initial stages of development, the shoots form a wide-necked crown, and then it becomes wide-conical, with the ends of the branches pointing upwards. The needles are bluish-gray in color, with thin and stiff needles, 25–40 mm long. Like the previous cultivar, Watereri is a light-loving crop, therefore, to make the plant as decorative as possible, it is worth planting it only in areas well lit by the sun.
- Aurea. The variety is represented by a short tree, which at the age of 10 reaches no more than 2.5 m in height, with an adult specimen width of 1.5 m. In winter, the saturated green needles of the plant lose their color and turn yellow. The shape of the crown ranges from right-cone-shaped at the beginning of the development of the culture to wide-cone-shaped in adult trees, after decades of growing on the site. The variety is characterized by low demands on growing conditions, therefore, regardless of the specific planting site, there should be no problems with such pines.
- Fastigiata - Another slow-growing, narrow-columned pine, with branches vertically located in relation to the trunk. The needles have a bluish color and are collected in small bunches of 2 pieces. Over 30 years of life, the variety trees reach no more than 6–8 m in height and 3 m in width. Suitable for cultivation in regions with moderate temperature drops in winter - up to -34 ° C.
- Beuvronensis - A decorative, slow-growing variety with a beautiful spherical crown. A ten-year-old plant reaches 60 cm in height, with a maximum crown diameter of 1 m of adult specimens. The needles are saturated green in color, long and relatively soft to the touch. Standard grafting varieties of such pine can be formed in bonsai, which allows them to be grown even at home (in pots). As in previous cases, unpretentiousness to growing conditions is one of the main advantages of ornamental ordinary pine.
Use in landscape design
If the selected pine variety is suitable for growing in a specific area, it can become simply an indispensable component of landscaping, both large and limited in space. In the latter case, it is better to choose dwarf or even shrubby forms of pine that fit perfectly into the overall picture when organizing rock gardens, rockeries, artificial streams or even flower beds.
Large specimens can be used to create hedges along the fence or as a single addition to the overall decoration of the site. Depending on the selected variety, with the help of trees or shrubs, it is possible to emphasize the beauty of other vegetation on the site, but the culture is best combined with thuja, berry and golden yew, conic spruce, various varietal variations of mountain pine.
When creating flower arrangements, the plant will surely become an excellent background for colorful and bright flowers, the main thing is that the needs of the crops used for the decoration of the plot coincide as much as possible.In no case do not plant a pine tree next to birches, bird cherry trees, roses. In such a neighborhood, only one plant species will survive, often caused by oxidation of the soil or excessive absorption of nutrients by one of the neighbors.
Due to the high quality of pine wood and the rich vitamin and mineral composition of the remaining parts, such trees are often used in a variety of sectors of human life. So, with proper handling of the shoots, buds and needles can be an excellent raw material for the preparation of medicines, extracts from a plant serve well in the chemical industry, and the tree itself is a valuable breed in construction, for which there are several explanations.
Video: Scots pine
For medical use, pine buds are harvested in late winter or early spring, cutting them off with a sharp secateurs along with the rest of the stem (to make a small crown). After drying in a well-ventilated place, they will become an excellent constituent of useful decoctions, infusions, and bath liquid, especially as an antitussive, diuretic, or disinfectant.
Pine needles contain about 1% of essential oil, up to 0.2% of ascorbic acid, resins and useful tannins. Gathering it in the form of “paws” on cutting areas, pine oil can be prepared from young shoots and cones, which will later be included in antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory drugs.
In addition, pine oil is a valuable product for lung problems, so it is added to inhalation solutions or dripped into hot baths. Aromatherapy based on pine extracts can only be used if a person is not allergic to conifers, otherwise a plant can cause an allergic attack even as an air freshener.
In the chemical industry
The main thing that ordinary pine can give the chemical industry is gum (resin), which is formed in the resinous passages of plant wood. After collection, this substance is melted and filtered, trying to get rid of water and foreign impurities, so that a product called "turpentine" is obtained. About 25% of the essential oil is distilled from the resin during water vapor distillation. - gum turpentine, after additional purification of which remains ready turpentine oil.
Turpentine and rosin obtained as a result of product distillation are used in the manufacture of paints and varnishes, flavors, adhesives, solvents and other similar products. Rosin is subsequently used in the manufacture of soap, paper and rubber, and in some cases oils for rubbing bows and strings of musical instruments.
The amount of finished resin and turpentine directly depends on the climatic conditions of the growth of pine trees, their age and nature of the soil. Dry distillation of wood and stumps leads to first obtaining turpentine of improved quality, and then technical tar and wood vinegar, after which coal remains in the distillation boiler.
For construction purposes, mainly used is the wood of old trees, usually overstepping a 100-year mark. This option is one of the most dense and contains a large number of resins, thanks to which it is practically fearless to rot. The hardness and ease of processing raw materials from pine largely depend on soil moisture and average temperature conditions, therefore, when felling forests, trees growing on dry soils are preferred.
The high environmental friendliness of pine is estimated at 5 points, and the plant does not lose its healing properties even after construction processing: supporting ceilings and wall decoration material from the specified wood contribute to the elimination of pathogens andpreventing the development of infectious ailments in households.
There are several main features of pine trees that are necessarily considered by builders:
- The presence of knots on the surface. It is proved that plants growing in the harsh northern climate are characterized by fewer knots, an almost even trunk and a minimum distance between annual rings. The latter indicator affects the strength, softness and friability of lumber: the smaller it is, the better.
- The presence of resinous deposits between the fibers. They protect the wood from decay, so they should be here in sufficient quantity.
- Differences in the diameter of the tree between its lower and upper parts, which directly affects the convenience of wood processing and allows you to harvest lumber of various shapes.
The advantage of pine wood is the ability to process the material using any available tools, and after drying and other pretreatment, all parts made on its basis can be easily varnished and painted, which is highly appreciated when creating furniture, flooring, creating frames and shutters . Gluing such material is not a problem.
Diseases and Pests
Unfortunately, despite all its strengths, the pine tree is not protected from diseases and pests, so when growing at home, you should pay attention to any change in the appearance of the plant: yellowing needles, cracking of the bark or softening of individual parts of the shoots.
Important! To control the bark beetle, it is not enough to use only external means for treating plants (spray the crown with insecticides). To increase the chances of success, the selected chemical agent must be injected into the beetle using a special syringe.
Of the popular pests of common pine, the following are distinguished:
- Spruce fir hermes. Gathering in the colony, this pest becomes like snow-white cotton wool covering the needles (as a result, it turns yellow and falls off). To prevent the loss of pine decorative, at the first sign of insect damage, it is necessary to use a suitable insecticidal preparation like Actellica, Decis Profi, Angio or Actara.
- Spruce ordinary sawflyharmful to the needles. Initially, the needles become red in color, as if burnt, and then crumble to the ground. With a massive pest invasion, young shoots may completely lose their coniferous cover, so if an insect is found, it is worthwhile to immediately treat the Fufanon insecticide, observing the requirements specified in its instructions.
- Bark beetle. This small bug (with a body up to 0.5 cm in length) gnaws microscopic passages in the pine wood and lays eggs in them, from which whole colonies of voracious larvae will soon appear. If you do not take any methods to combat bugs, then in 45-50 days the middle tree will be completely destroyed.
Of the diseases, ordinary pine plants are afraid of such ailments as:
- Schütte ordinary - An ailment from the category of fungal diseases, characterized by the formation of subtle brown spots on the needles, which over time grow, turn yellow and become brown, leading to decay of the needles. On already bare branches, dark mushrooms of various shapes become noticeable. To solve the problem, gardeners treat the pine with a solution of colloidal sulfur, pre-dissolving 1 tbsp. spoon of the specified substance in a bucket of water. Such an amount of solution will be enough for 2-3 plants.
- Rust - the most common pine pine disease, characterized by the appearance of orange spots and blooms on the shoots of the tree, which, quickly spreading, can spread to neighboring, still healthy plants.With a very strong infection, there is nothing left to do but cut the branches affected by the disease and burn them, which will prevent the further spread of the problem. If the whole tree is infected, then it will also have to be uprooted and burned. Of the chemicals, colloidal sulfur and Bordeaux mixture will be useful in this case, but the effectiveness of their use largely depends on the stage of the disease (they are successfully used only with a slight damage to the shoots with rust).
Pine ordinary - a truly universal tree that not only favorably highlights the site against the background of the rest, but also helps to clean the air in your area. If you have to cut a plant, its wood is always suitable for diverse processing, so in any case, the gardener will benefit from planting any of the above varietal varieties of culture.