Pine tree is easy to recognize to its unique look. It is a kind of evergreen plant that belongs to the subfamily of Pinoideae. All over the world, there are more than 120 of pine with additional 34 unresolved species. The plant has been present for more than 300 million. The evidence for this is the traces of conifers found by researchers. You may have seen these trees frequently but perhaps there are some interesting pine tree facts you have never heard before.
Pine tree facts about the cone and needle
Pine trees are often identified by their cones and needle-like shape of leaves. Becoming the main characteristics of pine trees, there are some fascinating facts about the cone and needle. These two features are what make pine one of the most ‘blessed’ kind of plants of earth.
Needle is the adult form of the pine leaves. It grows from the seed leaves and it can last until forty years depending on the pine species. The longest needles are found in a species called Longleaf Pinus Palustris. Therefore, this plant is also called as Longleaf Pine. The needles of this tree can reach 48 centimeters.
The other interesting and unique part of the tree is the cones. The cone is actually the seed that contains pollen. It is the part of the tree’s reproductive organ as pine trees do not have fruit or flower like many other trees. In one pine tree, there can be female and male cones. The male cones have small size and they are present only during autumn or spring in a short period of time. After these cones shed the pollen, they immediately fall.
The female counterpart, on the other hand, lasts longer because it needs more than three years for the seed to mature after fertilization. The wind plays a significant role to disperse the seed produced by the female cones after pollination. This fact is interesting because the only known plant that reproduces in this way is pine.
Is pine tree consumable?
Pine trees are harvested for a number of uses such as for Christmas decoration, timber, sealant, varnish, and glue. Not many people know that some pine products can actually be eaten by human. Some pine species, usually those with large seeds, can produce nuts. These pine nuts can be consumed. They are usually marketed as cooking and baking ingredients.
Have you eaten pine nuts? They are basically similar to other kinds of nuts. Eating pine nuts has been a part of culture for Adirondack Indians. Pine nuts are rich in vitamins A and B, but keep in mind that not all of them are edible. Some of them contain mild toxic. California pine nuts are safe to eat. You can even eat them without being toasted or cooked (raw pine nuts)
A symbol of wisdom and longevity
Fin some cultures, such as Native American, pine tree is considered as a symbol of longevity and wisdom. They believe that the tree can protect them from diseases and witchcrafts. The tree is highly valued everywhere due to its features, evergreen nature, and also the fragrant smell it produces.
The fact that it became popular as Christmas tree is also one of the interesting pine tree facts. The first time it was used as a Christmas tree was in the 16th century in Germany. Then, the trend spread all over the world in the 19th century. The reason why pine tree is popular for Christmas and other winter festivals decoration is because of its beautiful look and pleasant smell. More importantly, pine tree is a sign of everlasting relationship with Good.