The crystallised sap has been gathered and eaten like candy.A vanillin flavouring is obtained as a by-product of other resins that are released from the pulpwood.
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. The resin contained in this plant is very unusual in that it contains the hydrocarbon n-heptane. This is unmixed with other isomers of heptane and is formed by a very complex and little understood biochemical process. Its purity lead it to be used as the zero-point in the octane rating for petrol.Wood - light, strong and fine-grained, it can vary from soft to hard. It is used for making furniture, boxes, toys etc
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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 very ornamental plant. It is often short-lived in Britain but is moderately fast growing with some trees reaching a height of 15 metres in 29 years. A long-lived tree in the wild, specimens 500 years old are known. It commences bearing seeds when about 10 - 15 years old, though good production does not commence until twice that age. 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. Closely related to P. ponderosa, and hybridizes with it in the wild. Some of the earlier plantings under this name in Britain have turned out to be P. ponderosa. The cones are 12 - 35cm long, they open and shed their seed whilst still attached to the tree. The resin from broken shoots has a very strong lemon scent.Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Problems, pests & diseases
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