|Family Pinaceae: The Pines, Cedars, Spruce, and Firs|
Tree Encyclopedia | Trees Index | Pinaceae Index | Pinaceae Main | Rose Family | Birch Family
The Pine family is the most varied of all the groups of trees that bear cones (conifers). The oldest tree on earth is a (clone) spruce growing on Fulu Mountain in Sweden, nearly 10,000 years old.
White Pines commonly live to 400+ years.
Conifer comes from the Latin for "cone bearing." A conifer's seeds are borne in its cones. If you were to shake a typical mature cone, seeds would fall out. Almost all plants on earth produce seeds, and these plants are divided into two categories: gymnosperms and angiosperms. The angiosperms have their seeds embedded inside fruit; think of an apple or a pumpkin. Angiosperms comprise, by far, the biggest of the two groups.
Pollination in conifers is always dependant on wind. "Gymnosperm" is Latin for "naked seed". Gymnosperms evolved before flowering plants, and conifers (all plants in Pinaceae are conifers) are gymnosperms. There are fewer than 1,000 species of gymnosperms, representing barely 1/2 of one percent of all plant species.
Blue Globe Spruce
Eastern White Pine
A mature, fertilized female cone may be thought of as "fruit" (although technically conifers do not "flower" and hence cannot bear fruit). In most conifers, the cones are woody structures, but by no means do they all look like the classic pinecone. Some have seeds enveloped in a fleshy coating. Separate male cones are called staminate; they often take the form of tiny cones or catkins; these provide the pollen to fertilize the female cones, which ultimately produce the seeds. The female cones are the familiar woody structures and they are called pistillate cones. Most species of conifer are monoecious: they have both male and female cones on the same tree.
Himalayan White Pine
European Silver Fir
Olga Bay Larch
The oldest tree? Sometime around 7542 B.C., a spruce tree started growing on Fulu Mountain in Sweden. It is still growing. Spruce trees can produce exact clones, and while the currently visible part of the tree is not 9,550 years old, scientists found pieces of wood beneath it that are - with exactly the same genetic makeup as the now living above-ground tree.
Fremd Eastern Hemlock
Hornibrook Austrian Pine
Japanese White Pine
Scots Pine or Scotch Pine
Waterer Scots Pine
Pinus sylvestris 'watereri'
Table Mountain Pine
Dwarf White Pine
Pinus strobus 'Nana'
Explore over 3,000 large pictures of trees in more than 400 species. Our extensive catalog also contains the largest catalog of flowering fruit trees on the net - over 50 varieties. Find extensive descriptions and landscape planning information.
Tree Encyclopedia | Birch | Oak | Walnut | Fruit Trees | Nut Trees
Plant a tree!