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Pine refers to coniferous trees of the Genus Pinus in the Family Pinaceae. There are about 115 species of Pinus, although different authors accept anything between about 105 to 125 species. Pine trees are resinous and evergreen. They have scale leaves that are soon lost and replaced by needles bundled in clusters of 1 to 5 needles each. Pines are monoecious: having male and female cones on the same tree. Female cones take 2-3 years to mature after arrival of the male pollen grain, with actual fertilization delayed one year. 

Pines are native to most of North America, ranging from the Arctic to Mexico and Nicaragua and the West Indies. They occur naturally in Eurasia, ranging from Spain and Scotland east to the Russian Far East, Japan, and the Philippines, and south to northernmost Africa, the Himalaya and Southeast Asia, with one species just crossing the Equator in Sumatra. They are also extensively planted in many parts of the Southern hemisphere. 

Pines grow well in acid soils, some also on calcareous soils. A few are able to sprout after forest fires. Some species of pines need fire to germinate and their populations suffer under fire suppression regimes. Several species are adapted to extreme conditions imposed by elevation and latitude (see Whitebark pine and Bristlecone pine). 
Pines are commercially among the most important of species used for timber in temperate and tropical regions of the world. The seeds are commonly eaten by birds and squirrels, and the seeds of some species — called "pine nuts" — are sold commercially for cooking and baking. The resin of some species is important as the source of turpentine. 

Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) and other common pine species are often grown commercially as a source of wood pulp for papermaking. This is because they are fast-growing softwoods that can be planted in relatively dense stands, and because their resinous needles inhibit the growth of other plants (e.g. weeds) in the cropping areas. Pine plantations can be at risk for fire damage because pine resin is flammable to the point of a tree being explosive under some conditions. 

List of pine species

North American pine species: 
Apache pine 
Bishop pine 
Bristlecone pine - 2 species 
Chihuahua pine 
Coulter pine 
Digger pine, Foothill pine or Gray pine, Pinus sabiniana 
Foxtail pine 
Jack pine 
Jeffrey pine 
Knobcone pine 
Limber pine 
Loblolly pine 
Lodgepole pine 
Longleaf pine - P. palustris 
Monterey pine 
Piñon pine - also as Pinyon pine; 5 species 
Pitch pine 
Pond pine 
Ponderosa pine 
Red pine 
Sand pine 
Shortleaf pine 
Slash pine 
Spruce pine 
Sugar pine 
Table Mountain pine 
Torrey pine 
Virginia pine 
Washoe pine 
White pine 
Whitebark pine 

The most common pine species in Europe include Austrian Pine (also known as Black Pine, Pinus nigra), and Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris). European Pine species include the following: 

Austrian pine - P. nigra 
Scots pine - P. sylvestris 


Mabberley, D.J. 1987. The Plant Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 706 p. ISBN 0 521 34060 8. 

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