Pine tree

The pine tree: characteristics and different species

The pine tree is characterized by needle-shaped leaves, gathered in bunches of 2, 3 or 5 (more rarely 1 or 4), depending on the different species. In fact, the different species can be identified according to the number of needles. They have bundles of 2 needles the stone pine tree (it has rounded pine cones), Aleppo pine and Calabrian pine (with conical pine cones), maritime pine (with elongated pine cones), Scots pine (oval pine cones) and mountain pine (shrubby species ). They have bundles of 3 needles, however, the Monterey pine (with needles of 10-14 centimeters) and the Canary Island pine (with needles 20-30 centimeters long). Finally, the pines with bundles of 5 needles are the stone pine and the strobe pine (ornamental plant). In the pine tree the needles do not grow directly on the branch, but on small and short twigs.

The stone pine tree: the characteristics of the species

In Italy there are many species of pine spontaneously: in the alpine areas you can find the Swiss pine, the Scots pine and the mountain pine, while in the Mediterranean ones there are the maritime pine, the Aleppo pine and the stone pine. The latter is so widespread that it is considered the classic pine tree. Normally, it can reach 25-30 meters in height and the trunk can also have a diameter of two meters. The pine tree is characterized by an umbrella-like crown, with branches concentrated above all in the highest and central part of the stem. The trunk is very straight (it can bifurcate only in older and taller plants), covered with a gray-brown wrinkled and plaque bark. The stone pine tree is also called the pine nut tree, precisely because it produces these excellent edible seeds.

The pine tree comes from the sprout obtained by planting pine nuts. The seedlings are very fragile: just touch them to make them die of dehydration. Given that the proximity between one plant and another in the pine forest basically conditions the future life of the trees, it is good to pay attention to this element. Indeed, if the pine treesare very close to each other, the production of pine nuts will be greater, but the development of the pine forest will stop after a short time. So, if you want an extended production over time, the pine forest must be fairly spaced out. The pine tree is sensitive to the action of fungi (often linked to water supply problems), bacteria and insects, which can also lead to the death of the plant. Furthermore, the pine tree can also be affected by the climate (lack of water), pollution and excess salinity in the water.

Pine tree: The hawthorn tree: the characteristics of the plant

In addition to the pine, another evergreen plant very common in Italy is the hawthorn, which is also characterized by some peculiar elements. The hawthorn tree, in fact, has heights ranging from 50 centimeters to 6 meters and a very branched crown. It is covered with a very compact gray bark and has thorns at the base of the small twigs (pitchers). On these, rhomboid leaves and pinkish-white flowers develop in spring (hence the name of the plant), grouped in corimbri in a variable number from 5 to 25. Flowering goes from April to May, followed by the growth of ripening fruits. in the period between November and December. The hawthorn tree is used as a fuel (wood), to make jams and jellies (fruits), or for medicinal uses (as a tonic and cardiotonic).

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