Pine (Pinus)

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  1.   1.  Description
    1.   1.1  Types
  2.   2.  Uses
    1.   2.1  Wood
    2.   2.2  Food
    3.   2.3  Pine Tar and Resin
    4.   2.4  Medicine
  3.   3.  More
  4.   4.  'Souls
Common Name Pine
Latin Name Pinus (genus)
Pine Tree
Pine Tree Pine Tree Pine Tree
Pinecone Pine Nut

Red pine trees on either side of a white spruce tree.

1.  Description

Pines are evergreen, coniferous resinous trees (or rarely shrubs) growing 3–80 m tall, with the majority of species reaching 15–45 m tall. The bark of most pines is thick and scaly, but some species have thin, flaking bark. Pines are long-lived, typically reaching ages of 100–1,000 years, some even more.

They are fast-growing softwoods that will grow in relatively dense stands, their acidic decaying needles inhibiting the sprouting of competing hardwoods.

1.1  Types

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Pinus mariana is a slow-growing, small upright tree (rarely a shrub), having a straight trunk with little taper, a scruffy habit, and a narrow, pointed crown of short, compact, drooping branches with upturned tips. Through much of its range it averages 5–15 m tall with a trunk 15-50 cm diameter at maturity


Common -- It commonly grows in pure stands on organic soils and in mixed stands on mineral soils. It is tolerant of nutrient-poor soils, and is commonly found on poorly drained acidic peatlands.

Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)

Red Pine is an evergreen tree characterized by tall, straight growth in a variety of habitats. It usually ranges from 20–35 m in height and 1 m in trunk diameter, exceptionally reaching 43 m tall.


Common -- This species is intolerant of shade, but does well in windy sites; it grows best in well-drained soil.

White Pine (Pinus strobus)

The eastern white pine has the distinction of being the tallest tree in eastern North America. In natural pre-colonial stands it is reported to have grown to as tall as 70 meters (230 ft). During the age of sail, tall white pines with high quality wood were known as mast pines and are useful for building boats.


Common -- It prefers well-drained soil and cool, humid climates, but can also grow in boggy areas and rocky highlands. In mixed forests, this dominant tree towers over all others, including the large broadleaf hardwoods.


  • During the age of sailing ships, tall white pines with high quality wood were known as mast pines.

2.  Uses

2.1  Wood

  • Pines are among the most commercially important of tree species, valued for their timber and wood pulp. Pine timber is denser, more resinous, and therefore more durable than Spruce. Pine wood was widely used in high-value carpentry items such as furniture, window frames, panelling, floors and roofing. However, its wood tends to be knotty.
  • Because pines have no insect or decay resistant qualities after logging, they are generally recommended for construction purposes as indoor use only (ex. indoor drywall framing). This wood left outside can be expected to last no more than 12–18 months depending on the type of climate it is exposed to.

2.2  Food

  • Some species have large seeds, called pine nuts, that are harvested and eaten (note: all nuts are generally unhealthy for dogs[1])
  • The soft, moist, white inner bark (cambium) found clinging to the woody outer bark is edible and very high in vitamins A and C. It can be eaten raw in slices as a snack or dried and ground up into a powder for use as a thickener in stews, soups, and other foods, such as Finnish pine bark bread (pettuleipä). Adirondack Indians got their name from the Mohawk Indian word atirú:taks, meaning "tree eaters".

2.3  Pine Tar and Resin

  • Pine resin (sap) has been used by various tribes to waterproof baskets, pails, and boats.
  • Pine tar is produced by slowly burning pine roots, branches, or small trunks in a partially smothered flame. Pine tar has medicinal uses and can also be processed to make turpentine.

2.4  Medicine

  • The Chippewa used pine resin to successfully treat infections and even gangrenous wounds.
  • Pine tar mixed with beer can be used to remove tapeworms (flat worms) or nematodes (round worms).
  • Pine tar mixed with sulfur is useful to treat dandruff.

3.  More

4.  'Souls

  • Hey, did your character do something cool with this plant?
  • Or maybe your pack has it for trade?

Categories: Flora | Resources