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.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.
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Growth of older trees tends to be very slow but many younger trees are growing fairly quickly averaging more than 30cm a year. This tree is unique in being the only tree from the tropics (it is found between latitudes 14 and 20°north) to succeed in central Scotland, latitude 57°north. It tolerates temperatures down to about -15°c. The cones open and shed their seed whilst still attached to the tree. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. Seed cones are up to 30cm long. A tree at Kew in January 1995 was about 12 metres tall and had well over 50 large cones on it. Another mature tree of the same species growing nearby had only a very few cones[K]. Leaf secretions inhibit the germination of seeds, thereby inhibiting the growth of other plants below the tree.Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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