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Pine

Pine Tree

Pinus species

Description

Pine trees are easily recognized by their needlelike leaves grouped in bundles. Each bundle may contain one to five needles, the number varying among species. The tree’s odor and sticky sap provide a simple way to distinguish pines from similar looking trees with needlelike leaves.

Habitat and Distribution

Pines prefer open, sunny areas. They are found throughout North America, Central America, much of the Caribbean region, North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and some places in Asia.

Edible Parts

The seeds of all species are edible. You can collect the young male cones, which grow only in the spring, as a survival food. Boil or bake the young cones. The bark of young twigs is edible. Peel off the bark of thin twigs. You can chew the juicy inner bark; it is rich in sugar and vitamins. Eat the seeds raw or cooked. Green pine needle tea is high in vitamin C.

Other Uses

Use the resin to waterproof articles. Also use it as glue. Collect the resin from the tree. If there is not enough resin on the tree, cut a notch in the bark so more sap will seep out. Put the resin in a container and heat it. The hot resin is your glue. Use it as is or add a small amount of ash dust to strengthen it. Use it immediately. You can use hardened pine resin as an emergency dental filling.

Steve's notes:

Pine pitch has been chewed or sucked on to relieve sore throats and eliminate bad breath. It has been used internally to treat kidney problems and tuberculosis. The warmed sap was applied to skin infections, arthritic joints and sore muscles.

The sap can be used to help start a fire. It will burn even when wet.



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The Ultralight Backpacking Site | Pine