An edible gummy exudation from the stem is used as a chewing gum. Inner bark - raw or cooked. The inner bark can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread. The roasted young cones can be eaten.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.Wood - straight and close-grained, soft, light, not strong, very durable, resistant to shrinking and warping. An important timber tree, it is used in making doors, shelves, flooring, construction etc. The wood has dark knots, making it attractive for panelling.
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A fast growing tree, capable of sustaining growth of 75cm per year over a long period of time even when in an unfavourable site. This species establishes very well on severely altered sites such as after a forest fire. Trees on a site 300m above sea level in N. Wales have grown exceptionally well. Girth increases of up to 4cm a year have been recorded. Trees take 30 - 40 years before they produce reliable crops of seeds. Good crops are produced every 2 - 4 years in the wild, with little seed in the intervening years. The cones are 12 - 27cm long and take 2 years to mature, they open and shed their seed in late summer and early autumn whilst still attached to the tree. Very susceptible to 'white pine blister rust' this tree should not be planted near Ribes species (currants and gooseberries) because they can transmit the rust(1, 11, 120). Most of the older trees in this country have been killed by the rust. However, it seems that infection only occurs when the trees are young in this country and new plantings in areas isolated from species of Ribes are being made. Plants are also subject to damage by aphis. Trees have a thin bark, which makes them susceptible to forest fires. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. Leaf secretions inhibit the germination of seeds, thereby reducing the amount of plants that can grow beneath the tree.Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Problems, pests & diseases
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