Three pine trees

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Pine (Pinus) is a genus of evergreen coniferous trees, or shrubs, of the Pinaceae family. With roughly 110 species it is the largest genus of the family. Like other representatives of the pines family, they naturally occur exclusively in the northern hemisphere (except for the Pinus merkusii, which extends to southern hemisphere in Sumatra). The area of ​​the genus distribution is large and grows from the area of ​​the Nordic forests through the temperate belt and subtropics to the mountains of the tropics. It probably comes from the Old World, but it reaches the maximum of species richness in North and Central America; another rich area is East Asia, Indochina and the Himalayas. There are 12-13 native species in Europe, including 9-10 double-needle and 3 five-needle. They are all heavily light-colored, competitively weak trees with very low demands on soil quality, which are able to withstand all sorts of habitats; many play the role of pioneer trees. Some North American and Mediterranean species are very well adapted to forest fires, as fossil findings already show. Among the pines are the oldest living higher organisms on Earthː some specimens of the long-lived pine (Pinus longaeva) are proven to be more than 4 800 years.



The genus is taxonomically divided into two subspecies Pinus or "hard pine", with 2-3, exceptionally 5 or up to 8 needles in a bundle with perennial sheath, two vascular bundles, vents distributed evenly across the needles and on the dorsal scales of cones with pronounced " navel "(umbo), and Strobus or" soft "pines, usually with 3 or 5 needles in a bundle with a deciduous sheath, with one vascular bundle, vents predominantly on the inside of the needle and the navel (umbo) located at the end of the seminal scales. Evolutionally evolved in the lower Cretaceous period.

Pine is one of the most economically important coniferous trees. Above all, they provide high-quality, soft to medium-hard, easy-to-work wood, usable for construction and furniture. Also used is a resin containing a plurality of aromatic terpenic substances, in aromatherapy and cosmetics, as well as in medicinal ointments for rheumatism or arthritis; it is also a source of natural turpentine. Needles and bark have many vitamins and have been or are still used in food production in various regions of the world, as well as edible seeds of some species known as pine or cedar nuts. Pine trees in garden architecture are of great importance as ornamental trees and shrubs, they are also popular as Christmas trees. Many species of pine have played a significant role in the cultural, folklore and spiritual life of humans, as well as in countless literary and artistic works and in heraldry.

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