The fresh needles are brewed into an aromatic tea that is rich in vitamins A and C. A refreshing drink is made from the leaves. An acceptable candy is made by boiling the tender new shoots in syrup. The sticky amber sap can be used for chewing. A vanillin flavouring is obtained as a by-product of other resins that are released from the pulpwood. The firm unexpanded male cones can be boiled and used as a flavouring. A pleasant sweet flavour.Inner bark - raw or cooked. A sweet flavour. There are no more details but inner bark is often dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread.
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 canoes, containers etc, as a wood preservative etc.Wood - straight and close-grained, light, soft, not strong, works easily and takes an excellent natural or painted finish. It weighs 24lb per cubic foot. A very valuable timber, the wood is especially suited for making the masts of ships and is also used for lumber, cheap furniture, house interiors, construction etc.
The turpentine obtained from the resin of all pine trees is antiseptic, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge. It is a valuable remedy used internally in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints and is used both internally and as a rub and steam bath in the treatment of rheumatic affections. It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and so is useful in treating diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory complaints such as coughs, colds, influenza and TB. Externally it is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils etc and is used in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers. A poultice of pitch has been used to draw out toxins from boils and reduce the pain. The dried inner bark is demulcent, diuretic and expectorant. An infusion was used as a treatment for colds and it is still used as an ingredient in commercial cough syrups, where it serves to promote the expulsion of phlegm. A poultice made from the pounded inner bark is used to treat cuts, sores and wounds. The wetted inner bark can be used as a poultice on the chest in treating strong colds. The dried inner bark contains 10% tannin, some mucilage, an oleoresin, a glycoside and a volatile oil. A tea made from the young needles is used to treat sore throats. It is a good source of vitamin C and so is effective against scurvy. An infusion of the young twigs has been used in the treatment of kidney disorders and pulmonary complaints.The powdered wood has been used as a dressing on babies chaffed skin, sores and improperly healed navels.
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The white pine is a very important timber crop in its native range, the huge stands that existed before the Europeans went to N. America have been largely cut down. It is a fast-growing and fairly long-lived tree that is often cultivated as a timber tree, especially in central Europe. Young trees grow very vigorously with new shoots of up to 1 metre common. Growth slows and almost ceases by the time the tree is 20 metres tall. Trees can produce cones when 5 - 10 years old, but reliable seed production takes another 10 years. Good crops are produced every 3 - 5 years in the wild, with little seed in the intervening years. The cones are 10 - 20cm long and take 2 years to mature, they open and shed their seed in late summer whilst still attached to the tree. Plants often self-sow in Britain. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. Trees have a very thin bark, which makes them particularly susceptible to forest fires. This species is very susceptible to white pine blister rust, it should not be grown near any gooseberries or currants (Ribes species) since these plants can act as vectors for the disease. Plants are also subject to aphid damage. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.Leaf secretions inhibit the germination of seeds, thereby reducing the amount of plants that can grow under the trees.
Problems, pests & diseases
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