Pines

Monterey Pine Maritime Pine Scots Pine Corsican Pine

What are they?

Pines are widespread in our countryside and are a familiar feature of the landscape. They can be readily told from other conifers by their very long, needle-like leaves that are joined at the base into clusters of two, three or five needles.

Where are they found?

Pines are widely planted for forestry, ornament and as shelter belts, the latter especially in Breckland. Most ornamental species are rather uncommon and most likely to be found in parks, cemeteries, churchyards and similar places.

Identification

Pines may look all rather alike at first glance. Note the length of the needles and the number in a bundle (typically two, three or five) and note details of the cone (which are usually easily found on the ground beneath the tree), including size and whether they hang on the tree on larger, older branches. The colour of the bark and appearance of the winter bud can also be useful.



Scots Pine      Pinus sylvestris

Formerly native but now only an introduction in the region. Common throughout the rgion, especially on lighter, sandy soils. Planted for forestry, ornament and widely used as a shelter belt in Breckland. Often branches to produce multi-stemmed trees and develops distinctive, orange-toned upper stem and main branches. Leaves in pairs, twisted, rather short, 3-8cm in length and typically strongly blue-green. Cones small and round, 2.5-7.5cm in length.

Scots Pine Scots Pine Scots Pine Scots Pine
Habit
Leaves
Leaves
Male flowers
Scots Pine Scots Pine Scots Pine Scots Pine
Cone
Cone
Lower bark
Upper bark


Corsican Pine      Pinus nigra ssp. laricio

Introduced from southern Europe. Used widely for forestry and also for dune stabilisation in coastal areas due to its tolerance of exposed conditions. A tall-growing species, typically with a stout, single, upright trunk with the lower branches soon disappearing, although some individuals can become multi-stemmed. Leaves rather long, 10-18cm paired, typically twisted widely apart, rich green. Cones mid-sized, 3-9cm. Winter buds with an elongated tip. A subspecies of Black Pine that is native to the island of Corsica and Italy.

Corsican Pine Corsican Pine Corsican Pine Corsican Pine
Habit
Leaves
Leaves
Winter bud
Corsican Pine Corsican Pine Corsican Pine Corsican Pine
Cone
Cone
Bark
Bark


Austrian Pine      Pinus nigra ssp. nigra

Introduced from southern Europe. Little used for forestry but more often used for dune stabilisation in coastal places or as an ornamental. A tall-growing species, typically with a stout, single, upright trunk with the lower branches soon disappearing. Leaves short-medium, 8-12cm, paired, stiff and curved and typically more or less parallel, dark green. Cones mid-sized, 3-9cm. Winter buds with an elongated tip. A subspecies of Black Pine that is native to the mountains of central and southeast Europe.

Austrian Pine Austrian Pine Austrian Pine Austrian Pine
Habit
Leaves
Leaves
Winter bud
Austrian Pine Austrian Pine Austrian Pine Austrian Pine
Cones
Cone
Cone
Bark


Maritime Pine      Pinus pinaster

Introduced from southern Europe. Little used for forestry but more often used for dune stabilisation in coastal places or as an ornamental. A stout species, typically with a spreading crown and a trunk that often leans rather than growing upright. Leaves long, 15-20cm, paired, stiff, curved and diverging, mid green. Cones medium to large, 8-22cm, rich red-brown when young and persistent on older branches. Mature bark rugged, deeply fissured.

Maritime Pine Maritime Pine Maritime Pine
Leaves
Leaves
Winter bud
Maritime Pine Maritime Pine Maritime Pine Maritime Pine
Cones
Cone
Cones
Bark


Monterey Pine      Pinus radiata

Introduced from western North America. Planted as an ornamental and in shelter belts and hedge lines. A spreading species, with a wide crown and a trunk that often branches from low down. Leaves long, 12-25cm, in threes, fine and pliant, bright green. Cones medium to large, 7-14cm, strongly asymmetrical and very persistent on older branches. Mature bark craggy, shallowly fissured, reddish brown. Old, fallen leaves are persistent and often form a thick matt on the ground beneath the tree.

Monterey Pine Monterey Pine Monterey Pine Monterey Pine
Habit
Leaves
Leaves
Winter bud
Monterey Pine Monterey Pine Monterey Pine Monterey Pine
Cones
Cone
Bark
Bark


Lodgepole Pine      Pinus contorta

Introduced from western North America. Scarce, but occasionally found in shelter belts and forestry plantings. A rather narrow, upright species, with a straight trunk. Leaves short to medium, 3-8.5cm, in pairs, stiff and usually twisted. Cones small to medium, 3-6cm, usually asymmetrical and slightly curved, the upper cone scales tending to open more widely than the lower ones, very persistent on older branches. Young cones armed with sharp prickles, but these wear off on older cones. Mature bark rough and shallowly fissured. Winter buds thickly coated in waxy resin.

Lodgepole Pine Lodgepole Pine Lodgepole Pine Lodgepole Pine
Habit
Leaves
Leaves
Leaves
Lodgepole Pine Lodgepole Pine Lodgepole Pine Lodgepole Pine
Winter bud
Cone
Cone
Bark


Eastern White Pine      Pinus strobus

(Weymouth Pine) Introduced from North America. Rather rare in our region but occasionally found as an ornamental or in forestry blocks. A tall, stately species when full-grown, with wide-spreading branches. Leaves medium to long, 5-14cm, in bundles of five, slender and pliant, bright green with blue-green stripe. Cones long and pendent, 8-20cm, with barely thickened tips. Mature bark rough and shallowly fissured.

Eastern White Pine Eastern White Pine Eastern White Pine
Habit
Leaves
Leaves
Eastern White Pine Eastern White Pine Eastern White Pine
Cones
Cone
Bark


Bhutan Pine      Pinus wallichiana

Introduced from Asia. Rather rare in our region but occasionally found as an ornamental in parks or cemeteries and similar places. A spreading species with lower branches often at 90 degrees to the trunk and thick-based. Leaves medium to long, 8-20cm, in bundles of five, slender and pliant, blue-green. Cones long and pendent, 15-25cm, with clearly thickened tips.

Bhutan Pine Bhutan Pine
Habit
Leaves
Bhutan Pine Bhutan Pine Bhutan Pine
Cones
Cone
Bark


Stone Pine      Pinus pinea

Introduced from southern Europe. Rare as an ornamental and probably not normally hardy in our climate; recorded once from Suffolk. A spreading species that begins as a rounded ball and eventually forms a distinctive, broad, mushroom-shaped crown (earning it the alternative name of Umbrella Pine). Leaves medium to long, 10-20cm, in pairs, stout but pliant and bright green. Cones medium to large and robust, 8-15cm, with thickened scales and large, edible seeds. Bark very craggy, grey-brown at first, later consisting of dark cracks between orange, flaking plates.

Stone Pine Stone Pine Stone Pine Stone Pine
Habit
Leaves
Leaves
Leaves
Stone Pine Stone Pine Stone Pine Stone Pine
Cone
Winter bud
Bark
Bark


Bishop Pine      Pinus muricata

Introduced from western North America. Rare and recorded once from Suffolk. A spreading species, with a wide crown usually multiple trunks from low down. Leaves medium length, 7.5-13cm, in pairs, mid green. Cones medium, 6-9cm, strongly asymmetrical at the base, with persistent, sharp spines; long-persistent on old branches.

Bishop Pine Bishop Pine Bishop Pine
Habit
Leaves
Winter bud
Bishop Pine Bishop Pine Bishop Pine
Cone
Cone
Bark