“ A pine is a coniferous tree of the genus Pinus, in the family Pinaceae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authors accept anything from 105 to 125 species. Pines are evergreen and resinous. The bark of most pines is thick and scaly, but some species have thin, flaking bark. The branches are produced in regular pseudowhorls, actually a very tight spiral but appearing like a ring of branches arising from the same point. Many pines are uninodal, producing just one such whorl of branches each year, from buds at the tip of the year's new shoot, but others are multinodal, producing two or more whorls of branches per year. The spiral growth of branches, needles and cone scales are arranged in Fibonacci number ratios. The new spring shoots are sometimes called candles; they are light-colored and point upward at first, then later darken and spread outward. These candles offer foresters a means to evaluate fertility of the soil and vigour of the trees. „
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"I herald the returning of Light and Life
upon the season's wheel.
secrets of purification, healing,
and prosperity I reveal.
releasing your Shadow
and healing grief
are lessons I stitch with my slender leaf."
"If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against. He lives in the "House of the Gathering." Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day." ~ Jung (1938). Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.140
Evergreen conifers found within the Family Pinaceae are cedar, hemlock, fir, spruce, pine and larch. These evergreens are often the first trees that children in the U.S. learn to identify as separate from other kinds of trees. Although they might typically all be referred to as Pine, each carries their own unique message as well as the lessons inherint to the Family. Most of us are never taught the subtle differences that distinguish one species of Pinaceae from another, nor is the study of trees a popular or glamorous area of academia for adults.
Aside from being uniquely green when all other trees shed their leaves, evergreens are typically brought into homes every Christmas season, even by people who aren't Christians! Every child loves celebrating Christmas, and the evergreen's unique form is one of the first trees that they draw. Yet how do we know the Pine from other evergreens?
There are about 115 species of pine around the world. Pines are distinguished from all other trees by having pairs of uncovered seeds on their female cones, and needle-like slender leaves arranged in bundles of 2-5 with a permanent or deciduous sheath at their bases. Pines have adapted themselves to grow in challenging areas. Dry, sandy, or poor soils, bogs, extremes of cold and altitude do not deter the Pine! Considered a "pioneer", this tree can begin the reclamation project the Plant Nation is always in the process of around the world in barren landscapes.
These Diplomats can teach us how to go into difficult situations and negotiate with all the principals to achieve a more beneficial situations for everyone. Pines, especially White Pines (the focus here), are associated with peace, but these Teachers also have connections to the following concepts: prosperity, healing after surgery, renewal of energy, courage, hex-breaking, strength, purification and cleansing (especially guilt), fertility, and leadership.
Tall trees, they often indicate an ability to "see ahead" or over long distances. Known as Ailm in Ogham, Pine is the "sweetest of woods". Pine cones can be used to gauge weather as they open or close with changes in humidity. Several varieties of pine nuts are a potential food source and pine needles are an excellent source of vitamin C when steeped in hot water. Pine was an early wood for the making of boats, and favored as the ridge pole of dwellings from a variety of cultures. It has been an emblem of fidelity and wedding torches were made of pine according to Virgil. Pine was also a favorite for coffins for many years. In Russia, the coffin was often draped with pine or fir boughs as it was being carried to the cemetary.
There is a curious mix of Life and Death in the symbology of the Pine which, like other evergreens, has often symbolize the perpetuity of Life. For all it's lessons on peace, temperate leadership and diplomacy, the Pine has a strong connection to the deities Pan and Bacchus, both known more for their abandoned reveleries. At first glance, such dichotomy might make the Pine seem unbalanced. Running to extremes and especially suppressing or denying one's Shadow Self are potential signs of unbalanced Pine energy. When we realize that Pine is an enduring symbol of natural magic and the cycle of immortality (Life Death and Rebirth), we see this Teacher with new wisdom and begin to discover the Harmony inherint in all Pine lessons. Pine is a Wounded Healer amongst the Tree Teachers, and some exploration of the highs and lows of this archetype should be undertaken by any who feel called by this Teacher.
Amber is the fossilized resin of ancient Pines, and makes a good balancing energy for those called by a Pine Teacher. Other Teachers that could be balancing energies might include: fire, fern, squirrel, chipmunk, black bear, pine warbler, pinyon jay, red crossbill, red cockaded woodpecker, mississippi kite, brown-headed nuthatch, spider, ant, pine bark beetle, pine tip moth, european pine shoot moth, the pine mushroom, and the infamous Amanita Muscaria or Fly Agaric mushroom (perhaps best known for inspiring Lewis Carol)
Pine trees are excellent companions if you are looking to release stress, guilt, or negativity, if you are seeking peace and clarity through an extreme or difficult situation, those seeking healing, or those who would like to develop their leadership abilities. Simply sitting beneath the branches of a willing pine tree will help wash away these life pollutants. I had a great Pine tree friend that I spent many hours sitting with, and he was always willing to help wash away the negative build up of my life. Without the peaceful clarity he helped me to achieve, I do not believe that I would have made as many good choices in the extremely difficult situation I was dealing with at the time. Years later, and I find myself living amidst a council of Pine and Hemlock; a whole new array of friendly faces that are quickly becoming familiar and beloved Teachers!
"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." ~Greek Proverb
Key concepts: Peace, Release, Renewal, Purification, Forethought, Leadership, Healing Grief, Diplomacy
Associated Gods, Goddesses or Mythic figures: Dionysus, Adonis, Jesus, Astarte, Attis, Pan, and Poseidon.
I couldn't find a more appropriate catagory to post this article in, so this was the nearest option. I didn't want to wait until a new catagory was posted as Christmas is nearly upon us and it's time to go on the great Christmas tree hunt !! Every year my family has a tradition surrounding our Christmas tree. Fetching just the right tree has turned into a fab family outing,that starts the season off on a high. Sherwood pines Sherwood Pines is a part of Sherwood Forest that manages and sells real Christmas trees, and is run by the forestry commission. It has a designated site, and is open annually especially for the festive seson. After Christmas is over it also re opens for a few days to recycle the old trees,so you can pop along with your worn out tree and let them put it in a shredder, where it is turned into bark chips for use by the forestry commission. There is a little more to this site than just Christmas trees though, as it has a couple of stalls, one selling tree stands, and another selling had made wreaths..which is well worth stopping by as they are very reasonable and you can stand and watch them made. They also offer festive rides in a horse drawn sleigh, but only at weekends. But Santa's grotto is open for the whole period. Toilet facilities are on hand,and a lovely little tea room built in the style of a large wooden hut. It is both clean and reasonably priced,and sells a few gifty items. The site is also a great place to take one of the many forest walks that are clearly marked out. Location As the name suggests,Sherwood Pines is situated in Nottinghamshire's Sherwood Forest. It is very well sign posted, and can be found on the B6034, close to Edwinstow, Ollerton and the Centre Parcs holiday village, deep in Robin Hood terratory. Opening times Seasonal tree sales start on the 1st December, running through until 22nd December. Ope
ning hours are aproximately from 10 am until 4 pm. Re-opening for the tree recycling is usually posted during the sales time, but generally runs for the first week in January. (this is where you can take your old tree and they will shred it and re-use the shavings). Trees,quality and prices They sell all the main types of tree, from spruce to fir (the ones with the long needles that don't drop). All the trees are freshly cut that day and usually only an hour or so before they find their way into your car! There are hundreds to choose from and you have plenty of chance to examine them all ,so as to be sure of the "perfect tree" for you. These trees are so fresh, we have found that even buying them on the first of December, they stay frsh and don't loose their needles even after new year. Prices are quite reasonable, but not exceptional. A basic spruce costing around £14 for a 6 foot tree. The more expensive firs costung upto £24 for a 6 foot tree. The others all fall in between that range. You can find anything from a 3 foot tree to a 20 foot monster here, so everyone is well catered for. Summery A great place to kick off a traditional family christmas. Best to go when there's a light frost on the ground...it adds to the christmassy feeling. If you want a good walk while you're there, then remember to wrap up warm!! Hope you found this op of some use, and all of you have a very merry Christmas.
I have recently got round to redesigning the back garden of my home (finally after living in the house for two years!). I've gone for a very low maintenance layout.....lots of gravel, pebbles and cobbles, finished off with some lovely pot plants.
The other day I came home to find a new arrival in my garden. A pot had 'appeared' containing a baby tree.
'Do you like it?', my husband said. 'It's a Monkey Puzzle Tree!'
'What on earth is that?', I hear you ask - I certainly did!
I was puzzled and intrigued so I have taken the time to find out about this remarkably strange tree with the unusual name......
Also known as the Chilean Pine or Araucaria Araucana (a member of the Araucariaceae family), the Monkey Puzzle Tree is native to the Southern Hemisphere, particularly the mountains of Chile. As it is such an outstanding tree, in 1990 the Ministerio de Agricultura declared it a Chilean national monument!
Based on fossil records, the species is known to be over 60 million years old. It is thought that the species was first introduced into Britain towards the end of the 18th century by Archibald Menzie, a famous explorer/botanist from Scotland. While travelling in Chile, he was dining out one evening. Unable to identify some nuts that were on the table, he popped a few in his pocket. A number of these sprouted on his voyage home. The rest, as they say, is history!
There are a few theories behind the 'nickname' of the Monkey Puzzle Tree. Some say it is so called because the tree naturally loses its lower branches - it would puzzle a monkey how to climb it! Another story claims that there is a particular breed of monkey which hides in the tree (not in the UK I hasten to add!) Their tails resemble the dense, curved branches, making them a puzzle to spot.
The Monkey Puzzle Tree has a very unusual character which captures the imagination. A fully grown tree is stunning to look at. The branches of this lovely evergreen seem to grow almost symmetrically, creating a bizzare silhouete. The upward sweeping branches are very unusual and covered in stiff, overlapping leaves. Its bark is silvery grey and foliage a fairly dark, rich green colour which is unfortunately quite sharpe to touch. The Monkey Puzzle Tree produces cones as it matures (this takes about 25 years though!). The female produces very large cones that contain dozens of nuts. These are about the same size as a brasil nut and can actually be roasted and eaten.
If you would like to plant one of these trees in your garden, be warned...they grow to be very, very large. In the UK, the tallest specimen on record reached a towering 30 metres (98ft), although this is nothing compared to the whopping 150ft measured in its native climate! In other words, make sure you give it adequate space to grow, well away from your house and other buildings. The rate of growth is very slow though so it would take many years to achieve heights like those mentioned.
Ours is only a tiddler at the moment but we plan to keep it in a pot. This restricts the growth but doesnt in turn harm the tree. It would, I suppose, be a minature version.
Theres good news as this species of tree is fairly easy to look after and maintain as it is perfectly hardy and tolerant of most soil types. They do prefer to be positioned in full sun with well drained soil tough. Its great because I havent got greenfingers whatsoever and even I cant possibly get it wrong!
And now, the bad news...the cost.
Monkey Puzzle Trees are unfortunately expensive to buy. Expect to pay a high price for one that is semi-grown and well established - approximately £50. My husband paid £15 for ours and its not even 30cm tall!
Overall, the Monkey Puzzle Tree is a really attractive tree that can look great in any garden.
And there you have it, the tail of the extraordinary Araucaria Araucana.
Puzzled?....Not any more!
I am reliably informed that we are in the midst of Spring, and it is rumoured that summer may be along sometime. We who earn our crust in the world of horticulture, are up to our eyes at this time of year. Which is why I’ve not been around much lately, and my contributions may be a bit thin on the ground for a while. It is a late season. In my part of the world, trees are only just beginning to come into leaf. It was this observation which prompted me to think of trees. Or more specifically, pine. Or even more specifically, Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris). I do understand, really, if non-tree-lovers are bored already. All I ask of you is a sympathy vote. If you scroll to the bottom now, you will find the sympathy-vote rating on the left hand side. For those brave enough or interested enough to continue, or simply too intoxicated to care, I will try to make this more readable by subdividing into a whole range of subsections. With an unusually inspired burst of originality, I will call these Part I and Part II. Part I is about the history of the Scots Pine. Part II expands to cover members of the genus Pinus which can be grown in gardens. Even I should be able to cope with the discipline required to construct an opinion of two sections. If I lose the plot along the way, be sure to let me know. Part I. The tree we know as the Scots Pine grows widely throughout Europe. However, Pinus sylvestris comprises many strains, and only Pinus sylvestris var. Scotica (otherwise known as Pinus Scotica) is indigenous to my homeland. This tree formed the backbone of the Caledonian Forest, or Wood of Caledon, which clothed most of Highland Scotland, and indeed much of the Lowlands, for many centuries. It is, however, a common misconception that this ancient forest no longer exists. Relics of the old Pine forest remain, mainly, and fortunately, now in reserves managed by the Forestry Com
mission, Scottish Natural Heritage, the RSPB and others. Substantial areas of native pinewood exist at, for example, Rothiemurchus, Braemar, Rannoch Moor, Glen Affric, and Loch Maree (and given that these are all sustainably managed and open for public access and recreation, I’ve just realised the potential for new topics . . .). Smaller remnants are all over the place. I believe, for example, that in Glen Falloch there are a mere, but vital, twenty four native pine. So what went wrong? Where did it all go? Three major factors contributed to the decline, or indeed rape, of our pinewoods. Timber. Before we learned to produce timber in a sustainable fashion (if indeed we have), pine was identified as the ideal timber tree. At it was abundant. It is still the principal wood in the building trade, where it is more anonymously known as redwood. You probably didn’t know it, but your roof trusses are almost certainly made from my (second) favourite tree. But as demand for timber grew, the Scots Pine was felled mercilessly. Grazing. And sheep. And the Highland Clearances. The trauma of the Clearances is well known and documented as it relates to people, and rightly so. It is less well remembered, that vast tracts of native forest were cleared at the same time to accommodate the woolly grazing machines. Jacobites. Eh? Yes, incredible though it may seem on such a scale, after the 1745 uprising and Culloden, the army of Butcher Cumberland destroyed uncountable acres of forest in the Highlands, simply to deny hiding places to the defeated supporters of Charles Edward Stuart. But hopefully the threat is now past. Thanks to the reserves mentioned above, and the move towards sustainable forestry practice, our native pine will recover, albeit slowly. Part II. With its deeply fissured pinky-red bark, and its needled crown so beloved of a red squirrel as rare now as the pine itself, this
majestic tree of up to 100 feet is a bit on the large side for the average garden. I would love so much to exhort you to plant a native Caledonian Pine in your plot, but common sense must prevail. But the whole pine family is one worth befriending. For the rockery or rock garden, an absolute must is Pinus Mugo Mops, a dwarf, spreading pine growing a mere 2½ inches a year. With a little more space, you can grow some of the shrubby pines. Pinus pumila is a low, spreading shrub which in maturity will rarely exceed 3 metres. Bred from our own “sylvestris” is Gold Coin, rarely exceeding 2m, with gold-tinged foliage. Or Pinus sylvestris Beuvronensis, which rarely exceeds 1m. Och, there are so many, I could turn this into a catalogue. Go to the Garden Centre. Demand Pines, of garden size. Insist on sensible, detailed information, especially about the eventual height and spread. Gosh, it’s nearly a month since I last had time to write an opinion. I’ve been getting withdrawal symptoms. In fact, you could say I’ve been pining . . . .