There’s Something About A Pine Tree…
There was once a bundle of matches, and they were frightfully proud because of their high origin. Their family tree, that is to say the great pine tree of which they were each a little splinter, had been the giant of the forest.
- Hans Christian Andersen
A fresh stock of pine wood in the factory, that distinct piney scent pervading the entire space—like a heavenly gust of mountain air, transporting us to evergreen forests of giant conifers… Anyone who has walked among pine trees, smelled a pine cone, knows what a refreshing, calming effect they have. And that’s one of the many reasons we love working with pine wood.
But there’s so much more to a pine tree than just its wonderful scent. Here are some more interesting facts about pine:
- The modern English name pine is derived from Latin pinus, from Indo-European pei-, ‘resin’. In its etymology, ‘pine’ is related to pinot (one the world’s most beloved wines) and pituitary (the tiny gland at the base of our heads).
- The Methuselah tree—named after the longest living figures in the Bible, Methuselah or Man of Selah—is the oldest bristlecone pine tree in the world. This 4,851-year old tree is located somewhere within the perimeters of the Inyo National Forest in California; its exact location is kept publicly undisclosed—for obvious reasons.
- Pinecones were originally called pineapples!
- One of the key ingredients in the Italian green pasta sauce pesto alla genovese is pine nuts, the edible seeds of some pine species. Pine nuts (or ‘chilgoza’ as they are called in India) are grown in India as well, but confined to a tiny portion in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh.
- Most pine tree species are native to North America. However, we have five species of pines which are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, namely Pinus roxburghii (Chir pine), Pinus wallichiana (Blue pine), Pinus gerardiana (Chilgoza pine), Pinus kesiya (Khasi pine), and Pinus merkussi (Teriasserian pine). The first three are found in the Himalayas, the last two are indigenous to Assam and Burma.
- Spruce-pine-fir, or SPF, is the generic name for a variety of Canadian softwood species imported from North America and used for panelling, door and window frames, indoor furniture and other woodworking projects.
- Turpentine is made by distilling pine resin.
- The pine tree has held a very special place in mythology and folklore across civilisations and cultures. Being an evergreen species that can survive harsh weather conditions, pines are considered a symbol of longevity and endurance. They are also associated with wisdom, immortality, peace, prosperity and fertility: in ancient Greece and Rome, pine cones had phallic significance; in Japanese folklore, two pine trees standing together symbolised fidelity and passionate love. Native American tribes believe the pine tree to have the power to ward off evil spirits. And, of course, we know our beloved Christmas tree: pine tree is strongly associated with the spirit of Christmas.
To know more about the significance and symbology of pine in various cultures, check out this blog: https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/pine-trees#mod_19181159
- The medicinal benefits of pine tree and its various parts have been known to man for many ages. Even before scientific research proved its therapeutic value, cultures across the world have used pine leaves or needles, pine bark, pine resin to cure ailments like bronchitis, flu, fevers, rheumatism, infections, sores, etc. Pine oil is considered an insect repellent and is increasingly being used in aromatherapy to help stimulate mind and body, boost the immune system and fight infections.
- And last but definitely not least, some studies over the last decade say that the organic compounds called terpenes which emanate from large conifers like pine may have a cooling effect on the climate and limit global temperature rise!