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. Carpets are woven from the leaves. This species is exceedingly rich in resinous secretions and is a major source of resin and turpentine in America, but it is too tender in Britain for it to be used here. 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, perfumery, 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 - heavy, very hard, tough, strong, coarse grained, durable. It weighs 44lb per cubic foot. It is largely used for construction, pulp, interiors of buildings, masts, fencing, fuel, flooring, charcoal.
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This species grows in an area where the summers are long and hot and the winters are mild. It is not very hardy in Britain, especially when young, and grows much smaller in this country than it does in the wild. It dislikes temperatures falling below about -5°c. There are, however, some trees that were 15 metres tall in south-eastern England in 1970. Trees in the wild grow slowly, taking about 150 years to reach maximum size and living 200 - 300 years. Young seedlings are very slow growing for their first few years and look more like a clump of grass than a tree. They do not begin to grow a stem for their first few years. It is believed that this is a form of protection from forest fires since the heat might pass over the small tree without killing it and leaving it without much competition[K]. Leaf secretions inhibit the germination of seeds, thereby reducing the amount of plants that can grow under the trees. The cones are 15 - 25cm long, they 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. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.This species is notably resistant to fusiform rust.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Pinus palustris.
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