How do you tell red, white, pitch pines apart? - Lifestyle* - seacoastonline.com

How do you tell red, white, pitch pines apart? – Lifestyle* –

I’ve lengthy been working beneath the misguided perception {that a} neat technique to distinguish white pines and pink pines is by variety of needles: white pines have bundles of 5 needles, identical to the variety of letters within the phrase “white” and pink pines have bundles of three needles, the identical quantity as within the identify “pink.”

I’ve lengthy been working beneath the misguided perception {that a} neat technique to distinguish white pines and pink pines is by variety of needles: white pines have bundles of 5 needles, identical to the variety of letters within the phrase “white” and pink pines have bundles of three needles, the identical quantity as within the identify “pink.”

It seems that that is true for white pines, however not true for pink pines. I discovered this piece of misinformation from what I assumed was a dependable supply and by no means thought to query it, till an much more dependable supply got here alongside within the type of a implausible guide referred to as “Forest Bushes of Maine” (printed by the Maine Forest Service).

There’s a swampy space close to my home that I wished to take a pal to due to the gorgeous gentle this time of yr and the comparatively quick access in winter. I wished to indicate him the bushes specifically, what I assumed had been pink pines, however, as a result of we occurred to look them up first in “Forest Bushes of Maine” found had been, in actual fact, pitch pines.

Each of those are stunning bushes. Crimson pines are tall and straight, with reddish brown bark and pale pink heartwood (therefore the identify pink pine), and a basic pine tree form. Crimson pines are additionally referred to as Norway pines, not as a result of they arrive from Norway, however sinc ethey had been initially discovered close to Norway, Maine. Crimson pine needles are lengthy, four- to six-inches lengthy, and organized in clusters of two.

Pitch pines do not develop fairly as tall as pink pines and the branches are sometimes contorted and splayed out, giving the tops of the bushes a decidedly windswept look. The needles are in clusters of three and barely shorter than pink pine needles.

The scientific identify “Pinus rigida” means the “pine with the stiff cone scale.” You may see what this implies if you happen to attempt to pull a pine cone off of a department bare-handed; every scale on the cone is tipped with a pointy, curved spike. The frequent identify “pitch pine” comes from the early settlers who used pitch pines for producing turpentine, axle grease and tar for crusing ships. The excessive resin content material of the wooden additionally makes it splendid for fire-starting and torches.

Pitch pines are a rugged tree however they do not compete nicely in opposition to our native hardwoods so will are likely to predominate in areas the place the hardwoods cannot develop and have some tips up their sleeve, like hearth and salt spray resistance, that enable them to outlive circumstances different bushes can’t.

In accordance with “Forest Bushes of Maine,” that is the one native pine that can re-sprout when broken by hearth. Their vary is from southeastern Ontario right down to Northern Georgia. Within the south you are extra prone to discover them in sandy soil;, up north they’re additionally present in floodplains and swamps. Round right here you will regularly see them rising behind dunes; in sandy, well-drained, infertile soil.

When you have a grove of pitch pines in your neighborhood and desire a actually neat expertise, go to it in the midst of winter, on a transparent, sunny, chilly, crisp day. Whereas these aren’t bushes of the deep south, there’s something about their type and maybe their shade, or perhaps the way in which gentle strikes via the branches, or their odor, that can make you’re feeling like you’re within the south while you stand amongst them. It makes a most incongruous trip, however one which I assure you will come again from feeling renewed and refreshed.

Sue Pike of York will give a chat, “The Pure Historical past, Thriller and Folklore of Oak Bushes,” from 7 to eight p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, on the North Berwick Group Middle, 264 Lebanon Street. It’s free and open to the general public. Becoming a member of her will probably be actress/singer (and tree-lover) Karen Stathoplos, who works on the Wells Reserve, to share among the unusual and mystical tales, poems and songs about oaks and acorns. Name 676-3206 for particulars.

Sue Pike of York has labored as a researcher and a instructor in biology, marine biology and environmental science for years. She teaches at St. Thomas Aquinas Excessive Faculty. She could also be reached at [email protected]

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