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What has naked seeds, shallow roots, is fast growing and can live a 100 to 1,000 years?

  • What has naked seeds, shallow roots, is fast growing and can live a 100 to 1,000 years?

It's the pine, but which are true pines and which are not? And what are their defining features? Learn to see the wood from other trees in our special guide to What is a Pine?

Comments (5)

  1. Grower

    Rob Johnson, Green & Furry pet and garden care

    An interesting feature, well, I have no true pines, but it is interesting that my two 'pines' have their own histories. First that 'unpronounceable' is indeed sciadopitys, the only one left of its family. This, the most ancient of conifers is the remnant of a family that once covered most of what is now the northern hemisphere and was already in decline by the mid Jurassic having had its heyday in the Triassic to early Jurassic. A long time ago in other words, long enough in fact, to have e outlived its pests and diseases like Ginkgos have.
    The second of my 'pines' is the Wollemi, a very different type of tree, faster growing and with origins in what is now the frozen waists of Antarctica. It is sort of wedged between Aracauria and Agathis, the kauris showing direct links to both genera. Once, it covered the whole of Austraila and and much of Antarctica. The pollen named Dilwynites was thought to be a member of the laurales, like the modern Atherosperma family present there now. However, once the wollemi pines were discovered and subsequently studied in detail, there was no doupt, this fossil pollen was almost identical to that of this newcomer to science. Other evidence was also present, during construction of a road in Tasmania, a mouldy smell was detected and as a result, unfossilised preserved 40 million year old wood of this type was discovered only decomposing on contact with air. All very interesting, so why not grow a slice of the earths history in your garden?

  2. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    The Wollemi pine is also a favourite of mine. Such an interesting-looking tree ... and amazing how it was only recently rediscovered in a remote Australian gorge having been thought lost with the dinosaurs.

    Another is the Montezuma pine, which has 5 needles instead of the usual 3 in each sheath, creating a much softer and more elegant effect.

    • What has naked seeds, shallow roots, is fast growing and can live a 100 to 1,000 years?
  3. Grower

    Rob Johnson, Green & Furry pet and garden care

    I love the weeping pines and the American 'five needled' group in general. But for me the is no tree like our own scots pine. A mature tree rivals anything nature has out there.. Another specie I have is the Andean Fitzroya, remarkable when mature, but when young has an attractive weeping habit.
    Other conifers called 'pines', innludes the Tasmanian Huron pine, a very tough, hardy specie that loves this climate. Again, not a pine but a podocarp and is a some kind of ancient relic of Gondwanaland, of a time when two sister continents were one, just like the Wollemi pine and its family really. Naturally layering in the wild, some think some stands are 20,000 years old, and every tree a clone of one another. One for my bucket list here.

  4. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    Wow the Fitzroya is some tree. Amazing height and girth when mature. One I'll look out for.

  5. Grower

    Rob Johnson, Green & Furry pet and garden care

    IT fits very well as a smaller tree or at the sapling stage into any garden almost. It's of upright habit, so does not sprawl and take up a lot of room, takes well to pruning and its eventual great dimensions are not your problem, that is one for many generations down the line. Worth having. Mine was covered in small cones full of seed one year, the seed are now small plants, but I've a felling they may be crossed with leylandii or the likes as there are no other fitzroyas in the area. Im not quite sure what I have really, they might be trouble as they seem very fast growing.


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