The needles contain a substance called terpene, this is released when rain washes over the needles and it has a negative effect on the germination of some plants, including wheat. A resin is obtained from the sapwood. Trees are tapped for three years and then rested for three years. The yield is up to 5.5 kilos per tree. Oleo-resins are present in the tissues of all species of pines, but these are often not present in sufficient quantity to make their extraction economically worthwhile. The resins are obtained by tapping the trunk, or by destructive distillation of the wood. In general, trees from warmer areas of distribution give the higher yields. Turpentine consists of an average of 20% of the oleo-resin and is separated by distillation. Turpentine has a wide range of uses including as a solvent for waxes etc, for making varnish, medicinal etc. Rosin is the substance left after turpentine is removed. This is used by violinists on their bows and also in making sealing wax, varnish etc. Pitch can also be obtained from the resin and is used for waterproofing, as a wood preservative etc. The wood is very resinous and can be splintered and used as a torch. A charcoal made from the leaves, mixed with rice water, is used as an ink.Wood - moderately hard. Used for construction, shingles, boxes etc. It is useful in cold climates but is not resistant to white ants.
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The chir pine is not very hardy in Britain, succeeding outdoors only in the mildest areas of the country. In the driest parts of its native range the leaves are shed after 10 - 11 months, making it deciduous. Trees are extensively tapped for their resin in India and are the main source of resin in that region. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. This species is closely related to P. canariensis. Leaf secretions inhibit the germination of seeds, thereby reducing the amount of plants that can grow under the trees.Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Problems, pests & diseases
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Polycultures & Guilds
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