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Pinus rigida - Mill.
                 
Common Name Northern Pitch Pine, Pitch pine
Family Pinaceae
USDA hardiness 4-7
Known Hazards The wood, sawdust and resins from various species of pine can cause dermatitis in sensitive people[222].
Habitats Sandy or barren plains and dry gravelly uplands[43, 82], occasionally in cold deep swamps[82]. It is most abundant in the coastal region south of Massachusetts[82].
Range Eastern N. America - New Brunswick to Georgia and west to Kentucky.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary
Bloom Color: Green, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Pyramidal.

Pinus rigida Northern Pitch Pine, 	Pitch pine


Pinus rigida Northern Pitch Pine, 	Pitch pine
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 1: 57.
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of cone
Pinus rigida is an evergreen Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 7 m (23ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen from Jan to February. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms

Habitats
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Condiment.

A vanillin flavouring is obtained as a by-product of other resins that are released from the pulpwood[200].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiseptic;  Diuretic;  Pectoral;  Poultice;  Rubefacient;  Salve;  Skin;  Vermifuge;  
Vulnerary.

The turpentine obtained from the resin of all pine trees is antiseptic, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge[4]. It is a valuable remedy used internally in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints and is used both internally and as a rub and steam bath in the treatment of rheumatic affections[4]. It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and so is useful in treating diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory complaints such as coughs, colds, influenza and TB[4]. Externally it is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils etc and is used in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers[4].
Other Uses
Charcoal;  Dye;  Fuel;  Herbicide;  Lighting;  Repellent;  Resin;  Wood.

A tan or green dye is obtained from the needles[168]. The needles contain a substance called terpene, this is released when rain washes over the needles and it has a negative effect on the germination of some plants, including wheat[201]. Smoke from the burning leaves has been used to get rid of fleas[257]. The tree is a good source of resin but it is not exploited commercially[64]. Oleo-resins are present in the tissues of all species of pines, but these are often not present in sufficient quantity to make their extraction economically worthwhile[64]. The resins are obtained by tapping the trunk, or by destructive distillation of the wood[4, 64]. In general, trees from warmer areas of distribution give the higher yields[64]. Turpentine consists of an average of 20% of the oleo-resin[64] and is separated by distillation[4, 64]. Turpentine has a wide range of uses including as a solvent for waxes etc, for making varnish, medicinal etc[4]. Rosin is the substance left after turpentine is removed. This is used by violinists on their bows and also in making sealing wax, varnish etc[4]. Pitch can also be obtained from the resin and is used for waterproofing, as a wood preservative etc. The knots contain so much resin that they resist rot. They burn well and have been gathered and placed at the ends of sticks to make torches[226]. Wood - coarse-grained, light, soft, brittle, not strong, very durable, resinous[61, 82, 229]. It weighs 32lb per cubic foot[235]. Mainly used for charcoal and fuel, it is occasionally sawn into lumber[61, 82, 229].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Seashore, Specimen, Woodland garden. Thrives in a light well-drained sandy or gravelly loam[1, 11]. Dislikes poorly drained moorland soils[1]. Plants can grow on almost sterile soils, rocky or sandy[226]. Established plants tolerate drought[200]. Leaf secretions inhibit the germination of seeds, thereby reducing the amount of plants that can grow under the trees[18]. Because of its tolerance of poor soils, the northern pitch pine is used in America for re-afforesting worn-out lands[229]. It is planted on a small scale for timber in many European countries[50]. Growth of young seedlings is slow[229], but from the age of about 5 years they are fairly fast growing[229] with average annual increases in height of almost 30cm[185]. Growth soon tails off in areas where the tree is not well suited[185]. Most trees in Britain are found in S. England[185]. The cones are 3 - 9cm long, they open and shed their seed whilst still attached to the tree and can persist on the tree for 10 years or more[82, 226]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[200]. Sucker shoots are often produced from the trunk[188, 235]. This is the only species of pine known to produce suckers[226]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Special Features: Attracts birds, North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Propagation
It is best to sow the seed in individual pots in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible otherwise in late winter. A short stratification of 6 weeks at 4°c can improve the germination of stored seed[80]. Plant seedlings out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and protect them for their first winter or two[11]. Plants have a very sparse root system and the sooner they are planted into their permanent positions the better they will grow[K]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm[200]. We actually plant them out when they are about 5 - 10cm tall. So long as they are given a very good weed-excluding mulch they establish very well[K]. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[200]. Cuttings. This method only works when taken from very young trees less than 10 years old. Use single leaf fascicles with the base of the short shoot. Disbudding the shoots some weeks before taking the cuttings can help. Cuttings are normally slow to grow away[81].

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Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
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Lupinus mutabilisPearl Lupin, Tarwi50
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Lupinus polyphyllusBig-Leaf Lupin, Lupine11
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Lupinus termisWhite Lupin20
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123
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Expert comment
 
Author
Mill.
Botanical References
1143200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
robin stokes Tue Dec 12 2006
interesting page, much timber identified as "pitch pine" has been available in uk as reclaimed lumber -resawn from old mill beams etc 100 or more years old. long beams 5m or more,large cross-sections, very straight grained, very few knots, highly resinous, highly aromatic when sawn often quite dense compared with softwoods commonly available to builders & woodworkers. presume this timber would have been from much larger specimens in old forest than 15m sizing would suggest
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future. Fri Dec 15 2006
Thank you Robin, for drawing our attention to this error on the page. The correct maximum height should read 25 metres, though many trees are much smaller. The record will be amended shortly.
Elizabeth H.
John Delacour Sun Apr 8 2007
I think the pine known as "pitch pine" in England and much used in Victorian times cannot be pinus rigida, whether of 15M or 25M in height. Robin Stokes describes it well enough and I think is is impossible that such timber could be produced from pinus rigida. Sellers of reclaimed pitch pine identify it as pinus palustris, pinus australis. The Oxford Dictionary mentions also phylloclades trichomanoides - a New Zealand tree.

Pinus Palustris Description

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Subject : Pinus rigida  

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