- Coniferous trees: general information
- Coniferous trees: examples
- Pine tree: botanical description
- Distribution and main types of pines
- Pine in culture, literature and folk art
- Where do pines grow?
- Scotch pine
- Siberian cedar
- Weymouth pine
- Bunge Pine
- Economic use of pine
- Features of growth and growing conditions of pine
- Where can you find pine in Russia?
Pine is perhaps one of the most typical representatives of coniferous plants on our planet. The tree is found in various natural zones from the equator to the Far North. Often forms extensive forests (mainly in temperate latitudes). Where do pine trees grow? What is the specificity of their artificial cultivation? How many types of pines are distinguished by scientists? We will answer these and many other questions in this article.
Coniferous trees: general information
Conifers is one of the divisions of the plant kingdom, represented by trees (most often), as well as shrubs and elfins. They grow almost all over the globe, but dominate only in one natural zone - the taiga. The two main distinguishing features of this unit are:
- Leaves are usually presented as long thin needles.
- Seeds develop in specific shoots - cones.
Conifers are the oldest group of plants on Earth. Their remains are found in different parts of the world and date back 60-300 million years ago. Some of them have already died out without a trace, such as Voltian or Cordaite. The features and appearance of these plants can only be judged by the discovered fossil fragments.
Coniferous trees: examples
Typical representatives of the coniferous order:
Of all the listed plants in Russia, the most common are spruce, pine and larch. Where do these trees grow?
- Spruce is common in Europe, Asia and North America, widely represented in the expanses of Siberia and the Far East.
- Pine has filled the temperate latitudes of Europe and Asia, it also grows in Southeast Asia and North America (from Alaska to Yucatan).
- Larch occupies vast areas in Russia, in particular, in its Siberian and Far Eastern parts.
So, we found out where pines, spruces and larches grow. Next, we will dwell in more detail on the botanical description of the pine, talk about the distribution and main types of this tree.
Pine tree: botanical description
Pines are a family of coniferous plants, represented by more than 130 species. In Latin, their name sounds like Pinus. It is believed that this name comes from the Celtic word pin,which translates as "resin". Pine trees really emit a fairly large amount of resin, generously enriched with phytoncides.
Pine wood is fairly dense yet soft. In terms of strength, it is second only to larch. It has a pleasant color, which darkens with age of the tree (and unevenly).
Pine shoots are of two types: long and short. Leaves (needles) are thin and elongated (5-9 cm long), usually collected in bunches of 2-5 pieces. The cones are oblong or ovoid in shape and consist of tightly closed scales. As the plant matures, these scales open, exposing the seeds.
Distribution and main types of pines
Where do pines grow? In the natural environment, their distribution area is quite wide (see the map below). Pine forests are found in different parts of Eurasia, from equatorial to subpolar latitudes. In the tropics and near the equator, pines are found mainly in the mountains. These trees grow in North America (including the islands of the Caribbean), as well as in northern Africa (in the Atlas Mountains).
What is the name of the forest where the pines grow? The popular name for a pine forest is boron. True, sometimes this word also refers to spruce forests. In a pine forest, as a rule, there is no undergrowth, but mountain ash, juniper and other low shrubs are often found. Aspen or birch are often mixed with pines here.
In the Northern Hemisphere, botanists have over a hundred different types of pines. Approximately half of them are cultivated. ATamong the most famous and common species:
- Scotch pine.
- Siberian cedar pine.
- Black pine.
- Weymouth pine.
- Mountain Pine (or European).
Pine in culture, literature and folk art
According to ancient Greek legend, the pine tree is the embodiment of the dawn nymph Pitis. Once she turned into this tree in order to hide from the evil god of the north wind Boreas.
Pine is quite widely found in the fine arts, in particular, in Russian. So, the image of a tree can be seen on the canvases of Ivan Shishkin, Fyodor Vasiliev, Paul Cezanne, Camille Corot and other prominent artists. Perhaps the most famous painting depicting pines can be considered the work of I. I. Shishkin "Morning in a pine forest".
The mention of these trees is often found in the literature. Here, for example, is an excerpt from the fairy tale "Artel peasants" by Konstantin Paustovsky, a classic of Russian and Soviet prose:
“Varya woke up at dawn, listened. The sky was a little blue beyond the window of the hut. In the yard where an old pine tree grew, someone was sawing: Zhik-zhik, zhik-zhik! Apparently, experienced people sawed: the saw went loudly, did not jam.”
A lot of folk proverbs and sayings have been written about pines. Here are just a few examples:
"Where the pine has grown, there it is red!"
"The pine tree looks greener in winter."
"Get lost in the Three Pines"
"From an apple tree - apples, and from a pine - cones!"
In addition, there isthere are many children's riddles with the mention of this tree. Here is the most popular one:
"Where did the old pine grow? Where did the red squirrel live? What did she stock up for the winter? (Answers: in the forest; in a hollow; nuts).
Where do pines grow?
Pine is a truly unique tree. After all, she knows how to adapt to a wide variety of environmental conditions. You can meet this tree on the swampy northern plains, and on the rocky cliffs of the Crimean peninsula. However, in mountainous areas, pines tend to rarely rise above 800 meters.
Where do pines grow best? If we talk about the geological aspects of the territory, then this tree successfully settles on both sandy and rocky substrates. Some species of pines have adapted even to pure chalk deposits. However, these trees grow best in well-drained sandy or loamy soils.
Often, in places where pines grow, there is a significant excess of moisture. In this regard, they are also quite unpretentious. Pines perfectly adapt even to the conditions of marshland. As a rule, they are the first to "master" those lands that are unsuitable for all other trees, gradually fertilizing them with their own needles.
So, we found out in what natural conditions representatives of the pine family grow. And now it is worth talking in more detail about some types of pines. In particular, about those that can be found on the territory of our country. In addition, it would be useful to find out which pine grows where.
Pinussylvestris is the most common species of the pine family. This is a light-loving and fast-growing tree, reaching a height of 30-50 meters. The crown is translucent and highly raised, often with a flat top. Bark color: light brown, reddish. The trunk, as a rule, is straight with a diameter of 0.5 to 1.2 m. The needles are quite long (up to 6-9 cm), bluish-green, slightly curved.
The distribution area of the tree extends over a fairly wide belt from Central Europe to the Far East. Where does Scots pine grow? It can be found on the loose sands of Mongolia, and in the swamps of Polissya, and in the mountains of the Caucasus. The tree adapts well to various natural and climatic conditions. However, it feels most comfortable in soils of light mechanical composition.
Scotch pine is growing pretty fast. Lives 300-600 years.
Siberian cedar pine (most often referred to simply as cedar) is a majestic coniferous tree with a dense crown and a powerful trunk. Its branches are located close to each other and are covered with soft and long needles (up to 12 cm), which are collected in bunches. The shape of the cones is an elongated ovoid, the color is purple at first, and later brown. The cones contain seeds (“nuts”), which are eaten and used to produce cedar oil. One cone can hide from 30 to 150 such nuts.
Where does the cedar pine grow? The tree is widespread in the forest zone of Western Siberia (from 48 to 66 degreesnorthern latitude). Within Eastern Siberia, the upper limit of its range noticeably shifts to the south. Cedar is also found in the forests of Mongolia and northern China, growing on the slopes of the Altai Mountains (up to 2000 meters). On the territory of the Arkhangelsk region there are artificial plantations of Siberian cedar planted in pre-revolutionary times.
Slender and unusually beautiful tree with very high quality wood. The branches depart from the trunk strictly horizontally and are covered with thin, soft and long needles. In the 18th century, the wood of the white eastern pine (as it is also called) was actively used to build ships of the British Navy. Currently widely cultivated in forestry.
Weymouth pine's natural range is limited to North America. In particular, the tree is common in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. It is also found in Mexico, Guatemala and on the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. In the mountains it rises to a height of 1500 meters.
Perhaps, in the entire pine family, the Bunge pine (Pinus Bungeana) boasts the most exotic appearance. It got its name in honor of the Russian botanist Alexander Bunge, who first described it back in 1831.
The tree stands out for its unusual bark. Initially, it has a greenish color. But with age, its scales begin to flake off, and the bark becomes grayish-white. The tree rarely exceeds 30 meters in height. The needles of the pine are hard, dark green, the cones are resinous, brown.
Bunge Pinegrows in the central and western part of China. The tree is actively planted in parks and gardens, used for landscaping city streets and squares.
Economic use of pine
The wood of Scots pine is most widely used by man. It is distinguished by its special hardness, density and high tensile strength. In particular, the following building materials and substances are obtained from it:
- construction logs and beams;
- shipbuilding and deck ridges;
- railway sleepers;
- turpentine and others
Pine is also known as a medicinal plant. In folk medicine, almost all parts of this tree are used - buds, needles, bark, resin, seeds. So, the needles contain a number of vitamins and have an excellent bactericidal effect. Turpentine oil is widely used for arthritis, rheumatism and neuralgia. Pine tar successfully treats skin ailments (such as psoriasis or eczema).
Features of growth and growing conditions of pine
Pine tolerates severe frosts and low humidity. The tree is highly resistant to industrial pollutants. The only thing the pine is in dire need of is natural sunlight. Therefore, it should be planted in open, unshaded areas. A sandy or sandy loam substrate is best suited for planting. In the case of landing in "heavy" soil (for example, black soil or loam), you will needadditional site drainage.
Pine seedlings are usually planted in late April or early September. To do this, dig a meter-long hole and pour a mixture of soil, turf and river sand into it. You can also add a little nitrogen fertilizer (about 35-40 g). The optimal age of the seedling is 3-5 years. When planting in the ground, it is extremely important to ensure that the root neck of a young tree is at ground level.
In the first five years of its life, a pine seedling gains at best ten centimeters per year. Thus, a five-year-old tree does not exceed half a meter in height. In the future, the annual growth of pine increases to 25-60 cm per year, and after ten years of the life of the tree, it reaches 80-100 cm per year. In a thirty-year-old pine, growth in height slows down and the process of trunk expansion begins.
For garden and suburban areas, it is recommended to choose decorative and miniature forms of pines with crowns of original forms. It could be:
- Weymouth pine Radiata.
- Pine Aurea.
- Mountain Pine Dwarf.
Where can you find pine in Russia?
Pine is one of the main forest-forming species in Russia. Within the country there are 16 of its species. The most common is Scots pine. In general, pines occupy about 15% of the area of all forests in Russia. In height, they often reach 50-70 meters. Where does pine grow in Russia?
Pure pine forests are widely represented in Siberia (usually on sandy or stony soils). To the south of the conditional line Bryansk - Kazan - Ufa, these trees are extremely rare andpointwise, forming only small forests and groves. However, in the mountains of the Caucasus and Crimea, they are ubiquitous.
In addition to Scotch pine, Siberian cedar is common in Russia, and Korean cedar is also common within the Amur Region. The latter has more elongated buds and seeds.