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Useful Tropical Plants

Pinus occidentalis

Sw.

Pinaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Pinus occidentalis is an evergreen tree with an oval to bowl-shaped crown; it can grow 30 - 45 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 100 - 150cm in diameter.
The tree has been extensively harvested from the wild for its useful timber and also yields a resin for local use.
Being the only species of Pinus on Hispaniola and formerly abundant over much of the island, Pinus occidentalis has been heavily exploited for timber. A population decline of at least 50% over the last 100 years is very plausible, and exploitation of the species still continues at non-sustainable levels. The plant is classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

The wood, sawdust and resins from various species of pine can cause dermatitis in sensitive people[
222
Title
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Foster. S. & Duke. J. A.
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Year
1990
ISBN
0395467225
Description
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
].

Botanical References


Range

Caribbean - Haiti, Dominican Republic

Habitat

Open or dense woodland, either in pure stands or mixed with various broad-leaved trees and shrubs; at elevations from 200 - 3,200 metres[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusEndangered
Edibility Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height35.00 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Pinus occidentalis is found on the island of Hispaniola, where it grows in a wide range of elevations, from around 200 - 3,200 metres. The climate is tropical , but at elevations above 1,600 - 1,800 metres there can be frosts in the cool season and rarely snow. The mean annual precipitation is generally within the range 1,200 - 1,600mm, but can reach 2,300mm in parts of its range. There is a 3 - 5 month dry season during the cool season[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].
The plant requires a sunny position. It is found mainly in nutrient-poor, often shallow soils and rocky outcrops, which can be derived from limestone or more acid clays[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

The seeds of all Pinus species are more or less edible, and some are of good size and make very tasty and nutritious foods, often eaten in quantitiy. Others can be less desireable, either having a strongly resinous flavour, being bitter or, more commonly, rather too small and fiddly to make it very worthwhle even trying to eat them,
We have no specific information of the desireability of this species, though they are rather small (the size given includes the shell)[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

A vanillin flavouring is obtained as a by-product of other resins that are released from the pulpwood[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Medicinal

Oil of turpentine, obtained from the oleo-resin of all pine trees, is antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, rubefacient, stimulant and vermifuge[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
329
Title
The Gymnosperm Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.conifers.org/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A vast amount of information on conifers and families of gymnosperms.
]. 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
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. 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
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
].
Applied externally in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers, it is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils etc[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

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
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
].

Other Uses

A tan or green dye is obtained from the needles[
168
Title
Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Grae. I.
Publisher
MacMillan Publishing Co. New York.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-02-544950-8
Description
A very good and readable book on dyeing.
].

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
Title
Vegetable Gums and Resins.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
 
ISBN
81-88818-17-8
Description
A very good book dealing with the subject in a readable way.
]. The resins are obtained by tapping the trunk, or by destructive distillation of the wood[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
64
Title
Vegetable Gums and Resins.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
 
ISBN
81-88818-17-8
Description
A very good book dealing with the subject in a readable way.
]. In general, trees from warmer areas of distribution give the higher yields[
64
Title
Vegetable Gums and Resins.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
 
ISBN
81-88818-17-8
Description
A very good book dealing with the subject in a readable way.
]. Turpentine consists of an average of 20% of the oleo-resin[
64
Title
Vegetable Gums and Resins.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
 
ISBN
81-88818-17-8
Description
A very good book dealing with the subject in a readable way.
] and is separated by distillation[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
64
Title
Vegetable Gums and Resins.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
 
ISBN
81-88818-17-8
Description
A very good book dealing with the subject in a readable way.
]. Turpentine has a wide range of uses including as a solvent for waxes etc, for making varnish, medicinal etc[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. 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
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. Pitch can also be obtained from the resin and is used for waterproofing, as a wood preservative etc.

This is an important timber tree in Hispaniola, where despite intensive exploitation it is still relatively common. Its wood has good qualities comparable to those found in the more widespread species Pinus caribaea and is used as round wood for transmission poles, fence posts, construction timber, crates, boxes, and made into wood pulp for particleboard as well as paper. There is limited resin tapping for local use only. It is a tropical pine and even those trees at the highest altitudes in the Dominican Republic are not likely to yield progeny that can be grown successfully in cool temperate climates.

Propagation

It is best to sow the seed in individual pots as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. A short stratification of 6 weeks at 4°c can improve the germination of stored seed[
80
Title
Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Publication
 
Author
McMillan-Browse. P.
Publisher
Grower Books
Year
1985
ISBN
0-901361-21-6
Description
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
]. Plant seedlings out into their permanent positions as soon as possible[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. Plants have a very sparse root system and the sooner they are planted into their permanent positions the better they will grow[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. 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
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
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
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-08-21. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Pinus+occidentalis>

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