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 trees 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.
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.
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.
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