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.Wood - coarse-grained, light, soft, not strong. Occasionally used for fuel and second class lumber.
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This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. A short-lived tree in Britain. It is slow to get established but it then grows strongly. Of moderate growth in height with increases of about 30 - 40cm a year, but of rapid increase in girth, about 3 - 5cm a year. Trees grow better in the southern part of the country. Trees do not often bear cones in Britain. A tree planted in 1954 at Kew was about 12 metres tall in September 1993 and was carrying a number of large cones[K]. The summer had been cool and damp[K]. The same tree had another good crop of cones in the autumn of 1996 and continues to cone quite well in 1999[K]. An 11 year old tree at Kew had two small female cones in January 1999[K]. The fresh cones can weigh 2.2 kilos and when dried in a warm room for a year or so still weigh ½ kilo. The cones open and shed their seed whist still attached to the tree. The seeds are ejected explosively from the dry cone over a period of several weeks. The cones are 25 - 35cm long, they can hang on the tree for a number of years with their seed intact. This species is closely related to P. sabiniana. Leaf secretions inhibit the germination of seeds, thereby inhibiting the growth of other plants below the tree. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus.Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Problems, pests & diseases
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Polycultures & Guilds
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