The pine immigrated from south east 12000 years ago. It grows in all of Sweden and is second to spruce our most common tree. It is also called fura, an Old Norse word meaning reaching to the sky.The needles are evergreen and 5 cm long. The bark is dark brown. The tree’s shape and size can vary from straight grown 30 meters high to small gnarly trees.It prefers light positions but grows in most soils. The deep root system makes it very storm proof. It can get 800 years old but is normally felled at about 100 years.
The wood is light yellow with wide reddish brown heartwood. Sapwood is highly prone to staining, so care is needed when seasoning. It is light in weight, soft and easy to split.The high content of resin makes it very resistant to rot and decay. It is used for construction work, boat building, piles, electricity poles, roof shingles and more. It was used as mine props since you could hear it crack before it brakes. The Swedish railroad net was built on pine sleepers.
Pine is used in interior woodwork and for simple, rustic furniture. It is an important raw material for pulp and paper industry.
Did you know that:
- Before electricity, splints rich in resin were cut from the lower part of living trees and used for lighting instead of oil lamps.
- Up to the middle of the 19th century wood tar was made from pine stumps and prepared trunks. It was an important export article and occasionally called the black gold.
- The green buds are rich in vitamin C.
- There are many legends about the pine. At crossroads the horse wagons stopped by the dram pine for a drink and to get rid of evil powers. The milk pine demanded an offering of milk every spring and for good fishing you had to give vodka to the fishing pine.
- On gnarled pines there could grow loops. It was believed possible to cure a sick child by pulling it or its clothes through such a loop.