December 13, 2019
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pine is any conifer in the genus Pinus,[1] of the family PinaceaePinus is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List compiled by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden accepts 126 species names of pines as current, together with 35 unresolved species and many more synonyms.[2]   The modern English name “pine” derives from Latin pinus, which some have traced to the Indo-European base *pīt- ‘resin’ (source of English pituitary).[3] Before the 19th century, pines were often referred to as firs (from Old Norse fura, by way of Middle English firre). In some European languages, Germanic cognates of the Old Norse name are still in use for pines—in Danish fyr, in Norwegian fura/fure/furuSwedish fura/furuDutch vuren, and German Föhre—but in modern English, fir is now restricted to fir (Abies) and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga).   Pine trees are evergreen, coniferous resinous trees (or, rarely, shrubs) growing 3–80 m (10–260 ft) tall, with the majority of species reaching 15–45 m (50–150 ft) tall. The smallest are Siberian dwarf pine and Potosi pinyon, and the tallest is an 81.79 m (268.35 ft) tall ponderosa pine located in southern Oregon‘s Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.[4]  Pines are long-lived, and typically reach ages of 100–1,000 years, some even more. The longest-lived is the Great Basin bristlecone pinePinus longaeva. One individual of this species, dubbed “Methuselah“, is one of the world’s oldest living organisms at around 4,600 years old. This tree can be found in the White Mountains of California.[5] An older tree, now cut down, was dated at 4,900 years old. It was discovered in a grove beneath Wheeler Peak and it is now known as “Prometheus” after the Greek immortal

Food and nutrients

Some species have large seeds, called pine nuts, that are harvested and sold for cooking and baking. They are an essential ingredient of pesto alla genovese.  The soft, moist, white inner bark (cambium) found clinging to the woody outer bark is edible and very high in vitamins A and C. It can be eaten raw in slices as a snack or dried and ground up into a powder for use as an ersatz flour or thickener in stews, soups, and other foods, such as bark bread. Adirondack Indians got their name from the Mohawk Indian word atirú:taks, meaning “tree eaters”.  A tea made by steeping young, green pine needles in boiling water (known as tallstrunt in Sweden) is high in vitamins A and C. In eastern Asia, pine and other conifers are accepted among consumers as a beverage product, and used in teas, as well as wine.[15]  Pine needles from Pinus densiflora were found to contain 30.54 mg/g of proanthocyanidins when extracted with hot water.[16] Comparative to ethanol extraction resulting in 30.11 mg/g, simply extracting in hot water is preferable.  Proanthocyanidins, the nutrient for which wine and grapes are famed and grapeseed extract is used medicinally,[17] is in nearly the same quantity in pine needles of P. densiflora as it is in grape juice (35 mg/g). Grapeseed extract from cultivated grapes is 48.9 to 96.7 mg/g.[18]

Religious texts

Pine trees, as well as other conifers, are mentioned in The Bible. In Nehemiah 8:15, the King James Version renders the following translation:[28]

“And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches [emphasis added], and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.”

Pines are also mentioned in Isaiah 41:

“17: When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18: I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 19: I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: 20: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.”

And in Isaiah 60:

“13: The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.”

Tree of Life Attributions

The scared plant correspondence for Chesed are the pine, olive, and shamrock ; (Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 47; Aleister Crowley, 777, p. 10)


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