Black Pine: Description, Characteristics and Use

Originally found in Corsica, the black pine has been planted extensively throughout France an across Europe for its quality wood.

4874Arbre1820%FR PineAge: 40 to 45 years old Launay Guen Forest 22
Age: 40 to 45 years old
Launay Guen Forest
Côtes-d'Armor, Brittany, France
2588Arbre1820%FR PineUneven-aged high forest Montplonne Forest 55
Age: 0 to 2 years old
Montplonne Forest
Meuse, Grand Est, France
2430Arbre1820%FR PineUneven-aged high forest Syndicat Forest 88
Age: 0 to 2 years old
Syndicat Forest
Vosges, Grand Est, France

Corsican Pine

A type of black pine, Pinus nigra subsp. laricio, var. corsicana is found across the continent since reforestry began in the 20th century. These beautiful, upright trees which are renown for their height are the pride of Corsica, where it was said the great navigators, the Phoenicians, travelled to over 2,000 years ago in order to make the pines into masts for their boats.

Why does EcoTree plant black pines?

Black pines are a species that love light. They are found naturally in mountain ranges, at altitudes from 900 to 1,800 meters. They're often found among beech trees and firs on dark, cool north-facing slopes. This species needs lots of water - at least 800mm of rain per year, going up to 1200 mm. Black pines grow well in granitic or sandy soils. They don't require a rich mineral diversity in their soil. Black pines can not survive in compact or wet soils, nor in active limestone. They can fall victim to red band needle blight which causes mushrooms to form on the needles of the pine when they lack airflow or are planted in the wrong environment. We pay close attention to the quality of each forest station we plant our black pines in.

Corsican Pine - Overview

Corsican Pine - Overview

Black pines are known to be the tallest trees in France. Thanks to their long lifespan, they can grow up to 50m tall. On Corsica, some pines are centuries old, found on rocky peaks where they have withstood lightening and hostile environments. Black pines are identifiable by their slender trunks, their wide girth, and their branchless lower halves which thin naturally. Perfectly stepped, their high branches form a slightly dense, conical canopy. Their leaves are a gray-green color. Hard to distinguish from the Calabre (black) pine, Corsican black pines have a reddish-brown bark that turns silver-gray with age. Their flexible needles are not sharp, measuring 12 to 15 cm. In May, they bloom. Their oval cones are shiny brown and grow on a short stem; they mature around two years. Black pines are a post-pioneer nomad species.
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Corsican Pine

Corsican Pine - Species requirements

Originating in Corsica, black pines cover over 20,000 hectares of land. But, following the plantation of more in regions across France, they have colonised a large portion of the continent. In order to encourage its growth outside of its native habitat, seedling orchards have been developed in south central France.

Black Pine Wood

Grown in the right conditions, black pines or Corsican pines regularly produce good wood. They can produce 5 to 10 m3/hectare per year. Their wood is highly sought after in carpentry. It's used in making wood flooring, panneling, lumber, plywood, and planks. In the Corsican mountains, their heartwood is red-brown. In lowlands, its duraminisation (the transformation of sapwood into heartwood) is significantly less and occurs later on during rapid growth.

Symbolism of the Black Pine

For centuries, the pine has been dedicated to gods and goddesses. Especially the goddess Cybele, the symbol of fertility. Cybele - goddess-mother, the "Mother of the gods" - often dwelt under a pine tree which, by the will of Zeus, always kept its greenness. That's why it's called an evergreen.

The black pine, which blooms in May, is an original and ecological gift for Mother's Day . The black pine is a gift that grows more beautiful every year, blooming every year for Mother's Day , heralding the return of spring. What could be better than planting a tree in honor of your mom?