In 1950, the children’s book “If I Ran the Zoo” by Dr. Seuss was published. In it, the world learned of the Fizza-ma-Wizza-ma-Dill, the “world’s biggest bird from the island of Gwark, who eats only pine trees, and spits out the bark.” Leave it to the beloved Dr. Seuss to create yet another use for pine trees, bark and all.
For centuries, pine trees have been an important commodity for humans. They are valued for their timber (used to create furniture, houses and buildings) and for their wood pulp, which is processed into paper inside mills. Timber is used to build floors, walls and ceilings. Pine cones and needles can act as a fertilizer or in various crafts. Pine trees are part of the ecosystem of the forest and provide shelter for birds, insects and wildlife surrounding them.
Pine trees are evergreen and do not shed their leaves seasonally in the colder autumn or winter months. They belong to the family Pinaceae. There are approximately 115 known species of pine trees, although the exact numbers differ. Pine trees are native to most of the Northern Hemisphere, but some species have been introduced to the Southern Hemisphere as well.
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Eastern white pine grows 50 to 80 feet tall and can have a spread of up to 40 feet across at full maturity. It has an oval, pyramid shape and can be used as a wind buffer or for shade. In Colonial America, they were used for lumber and in sailing masts. In 1691, Great Britain imposed an act that the choicest trees were to be used only for the crown and not for the colonists. As the Revolutionary War boiled, the first flag featured an Eastern white pine tree.
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The tallest pine tree is the Sugar Pine tree, and the smallest pine tree is the Siberian Dwarf Pine.
Pine trees have four different types of leaves:
. Cotyledons, or seed leaves
. Juvenile leaves, which last for six months to five years
. Scales, arranged in a spiral shape like the juvenile leaves
. Needles, which can last up to 40 years.
Pine trees are used ornamentally in gardens, and their pine cones – both male and female varieties grow on the same tree – are in demand for various uses.
Perhaps one of the most beloved uses of pine trees is the seasonal Christmas tree. Several different types of pine trees used annually for Christmas trees include the Virginia pine, Eastern white pine and Scotch pine. They differ from the more popular Douglas fir because of the size of their needles, their spread, their color, and their differing scents.
Pine trees have a distinctive scent that, for many, is synonymous with the holidays or a country home in the woods. If considering purchasing artificial pine trees for your next project, or even an artificial Christmas tree for the holidays, perhaps a nearby aromatic candle that smells like authentic pine could help seal the deal. Plantworks artificial trees are so authentic looking no one could tell they aren’t real until they touch them.