Maritime Pine

Pinus pinaster Sol ex Aiton

Order: Coniferales

Family: Pinaceae

Names:

Pinus
Pinaster
Maritime Pine

Other Names:

Cluster Pine

Summary:

Pines are tall evergreen trees to 40 m high with rough and ridged brown bark and spirally arranged branches. The leaves are needle-like, in pairs, 50-300 mm long, arising from the axils of basal scale leaves, the needle-like leaves and scale leaves falling together as a unit. The young shoots are yellowish brown. The inflorescence is of separate male and female cones, both on the same tree. The male cones are small and spike-like with numerous tiny bracts each having 2 pollen sacs. The female cones are larger with numerous larger bracts each with 2 ovules. The fruiting cones are large and woody, more or less egg shaped and 70-250 mm long, they take 1-2 years to mature and eventually open to release the small winged seeds. Male cones are on the side and female cones on the ends of shoots.
It is widely planted for timber and are now naturalised along roadsides and in bushland near plantations or old settlements. Pollen is shed in spring.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Several.

Leaves:

Long shoots with scale like leaves and short shoots arising from the axils of basal scale leaves and bearing paired, needle like leaves that are spirally arranged. The needle-like leaves and scale leaves fall together as a unit at maturity. The young shoots yellowish brown, spindle shaped and pointed.
Blade - Needle like, green to dark green, stout, rigid, 50-300 mm long x 2 mm diameter, surrounded by sheathing scales at the base.

Stems:

Reddish brown, up to 40 metres tall, resinous. Bark rough and becoming deeply ridged. Young shoots yellow brown.
Winter buds 18-25 mm long, not resinous, with fringed and recurved scales.
Sapwood is non porous.

Flower head:

On each tree there are both male and female cones with spirally arranged scales. Cone scales have a rounded conical projection and a tiny prickle on the back. The male cones are small and spike-like with numerous tiny bracts each having 2 pollen sacs (sporangia) on the lower surface. The female cones are larger with numerous larger bracts each with 2 ovules. They are egg shaped to conic, stalkless on the ends, in groups of 1-3 and occasionally many, light brown, 70-250 mm long x 50-80 mm diameter, symmetrical except at the base, shiny, persistent and becoming woody with age and eventually opening to release the seed. Male cones replace short shoots at the base of the new years growth. Female cones replace long shoots and take 1-2 years to mature and eventually open to release the small winged seeds. Male cones are on the side and female cones on the ends of shoots. Cone scales produce 2 seeds on the upper surface.

Flowers:

There are separate male and female cones on the same plant.
Pollen is wind borne.

Fruit:

Cones.

Seeds:

7-8 mm long with a wing up to 30 mm long.

Roots:

Key Characters:

Leaves in pairs, needle like and more than 150 mm long, dark green.
Young shoots yellowish brown.
Cones bright brown.
Winter buds 12-25 mm long.
Scales of winter buds recurved.
Perennial tree to 40 m tall with rough bark.
From E.M. Bennett, J.M. Black and John Moore.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial evergreen tree. It produces its first seeds when approximately 7 years old.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

Pollen shed in September to October in WA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

None. Occasionally coppices.

Hybrids:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread mainly by intentional planting of seedlings.
Seed spread by wind. Seed is retained in the canopy and has a medium longevity.

Origin and History:

Native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, SA, VIC, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate. Mediterranean.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Used for resins, timber production, shelter and wind breaks.

Detrimental:

Weed of plantations, roadsides and disturbed areas.
It is widely planted for timber and are now naturalised along roadsides and in bushland near plantations and near old settlements.

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Maritime pine is included in the 5 most invasive Pinus species and volunteers around plantations may require control.

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis)
Canary Island Pine (Pinus canariensis)
Caribbean Pine (Pinus caribaea)
Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda)
Maritime Pine (Pinus pinaster) has needle-like leaves in pairs, 50-300 mm long, the young shoots yellowish brown and is to southern Europe.
Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) has needle-like leaves in threes, 80-150 mm long, the young shoots greenish and is native to California.
Patula Pine (Pinus patula)
Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)
Stone Pine (Pinus pinea)
Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii)

Plants of similar appearance:

Possibly confused with Callitris (Rottnest Island Pine), but Callitris is a smaller tree to 6 m high, its leaves only obvious in young shoots as they become fused to the stem with age leaving only small scale-like tips free. The cones are also smaller, 25-35 mm long and globular.

References:

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P68.

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P14-15. Photo.

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #979.5.

Marchant et al (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P58.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.