The New Student's Reference Work/Pine

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Pine, species of the genus Pinus, the largest genus of the conifers and distributed throughout north temperate regions. They are exceedingly important forest-trees, and are developed in a most magnificent way in our western mountain regions. There are 37 species in the United States, 25 occurring in the west, nine in the Mississippi basin, and seven in New England and the middle, Atlantic states. They are found under widely-varying conditions: down by the sea and up the mountain to the timber-line. The leaves are evergreen. The branches grow in imperfect whorls about a central trunk. The naked flowers appear in early spring, and the fruit is a cone. Wood, turpentine, rosin and tar are the products. The pine is so important a timber-tree that it seems doomed as a tree of the forest. It does not send up shoots, and its seeds soon lose their vitality. Far and wide nut-bearing trees have driven the pines backward from rich lands to the sands. The commonest species in the eastern United States are P. Strobus, the white pine; P. resinosa, the red pine; and P. palustris, the long-leaved or Georgia pine. The pitch-pine, abundant in the eastern pine-barrens, is well-known. In the western mountain region P. ponderosa, the great yellow pine, is one of the most important lumber-trees. P. edulis, the piñon or nut-pine, occurs in southern Colorado and southward. The white pine is a magnificent tree and the most valuable timber-tree of the eastern states. It grows to a height of 80 to 175 feet. The branches, whorled horizontally about the splendid, erect column, are most picturesque. The bluish-green, needle-shaped leaves are arranged along the branches in clusters of fives. The cones are long and slender. Its range is from Newfoundland to Manitoba, along the Alleghenies south to Georgia. The wood is light, soft, straight-grained and takes a fine polish; is used in cabinet-work, in interior finish and for shingles, lumber, masts and spars. The red or Norway pine is a beautiful tree belonging to the north. It is valued for its lumber and grows from 70 to 150 feet high. The long-leaved Georgia, southern or yellow pine is a very important timber-tree. Its wood is of a rich orange-yellow, very ornamental. Much turpentine, resin and tar are obtained from this tree. It rises from too to 120 feet, and is noted for its beautiful foliage. The leaves, from 10 to 15 inches long, grow in thick tufts at the ends of the branches. The yellow pine of the west occasionally attains a height of 230 feet, frequently of 150 feet. It is found from British Columbia to Mexico east to Nebraska and Texas. One of the most important pines in cultivation is the Scotch pine, P. silvestris, the common pine of northern Europe. The Austrian pine, P. Austriaca (P. Laricio), is a fast-growing and massive tree and common in cultivation. See Keeler: Our Native Trees.