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Uses Name Characteristics


Pinus sp.

Family: Pinaceae

  • dry, sandy soil
  • more numerous in the South and the East
White Pine
  • cone-bearing evergreens
  • straight trunk
  • bark can be dark and furrowed (White Pines) or divided into rectangular plates (Red Pine)
  • branches grow in whorls around the tree, adding a new whorl each year
  • can live over 400 years
white pine
White Pine Needles
  • slender needles occur in groups of 2 to 5 along the twigs
  • needle groups are bound in bundles at the base
  • White Pine has 5 needles per cluster; needles are short and shiny
  • Red Pine has 2 needles per cluster; needles are long and matte
  • all remaining species have 2 or 3 needles per bundle
white pine needles
Red Pine Needles
red pine needles
White Pine Cone
Fruit (Cones) and Seeds:
  • cones differ by species
  • White Pine has long, slender cones
  • Red Pine has short, rounded cones
  • seeds occur in pairs between cone scales (1 pair per cone) and can be useful for identification; when seeds can not be seen easily, cones can be allowed to dry in a paper bag and the seeds shaken loose
Red Pine Cone
red pine cone
white pine cone
White Pine Bark

Use the resin to waterproof articles. Also use it as glue. You can use hardened pine resin as an emergency dental filling or for starting fires. The durable, yet lightweight character of pine wood makes it ideal for raft building. Dense boughs of needles can be used as roof covering on an outdoor shelter. A piece of this dried softwood can be used to construct the fireboard of a bow drill, useful for igniting a pile of tinder. In wet weather, pine needles are denser and less fibrous that grass, which makes them more resistant to moisture, and therefore an excellent source of tinder in bad weather. A section of green twig from this tree can be used as an old-fashioned toothbrush.

red pine bark

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