Black Pine: how to recognize it, what are its uses?

This species is resistant to cold, drought, and wind and air pollution.

2565Arbre1820%FR black pineEuropean black pine - Montplonne Forest (55) Montplonne Forest 55
Age: 0 to 2 years old
Montplonne Forest
Meuse, Grand Est, France

European black pine

Native to Austria and the Balkans, the subspecies pinus nigra nigricans austriaca has been introduced to a large part of Europe and the U.S. It's a tree species cultivated for production.

Why does EcoTree plant black pines?

This resistant, resinous species produces wood with good mechanical properties. It is particularly used for timber. As a species, it tolerates a variety of soil and helps reforest mountainous terrains. It's also an alternative species to spruce, which had been widely planted in eastern France and fell victim to a bark beetle epidemic. We'll use it in our reforestation of the Montplonne forest in France.

European black pine - Overview

European black pine - Overview

The black pine pinus nigra subspecies, nigricans var. austriaca, is a resinous, evergreen tree that can reach heights of 25 to 35m.
It has a dense, round crown and a straight trunk, known as a macrophanerophytic since its trunk surpasses eight metres.
It grows slowly and poor natural pruning as its lateral branches are strong. Its black bark has deep fissures. New twigs are a matte light brown and very few or no needles form near the base. It has oblong, pointed buds that are resinous. It has average-sized (8-14 cm), dark green needles which are rigid and prickly and can be straight or slightly curved and last for 4 or 5 years. They form almost perpendicularly along the length of the branch. Cones from the black pine are conical egg shapes, 5 to 8cm in length. They are sessile (they grow directly, without a stem, on the branch) and are perpendicular to the branch.
The black pine is a monoecious tree, meaning that its unisexual male and female flowers are borne on the same plant. It flowers in May and is pollinated and dispersed by the wind. The cones take two years to mature and fall off the following year.
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European black pine

European black pine - Species requirements

The black pine is a nomadic, post-pioneer species, meaning that it is photophilic (it needs a lot of light) and appears in plant successions after pioneer species. Being nomadic means that it can, under certain conditions, play a role as a pioneer species. However, the seedlings of this light-loving species can tolerate some shade. The black pine is resistant to cold, drought (both air and soil), and wind and air pollution. It can handle calcareous (and/or magnesian), marly, dry soil and compact clays. It has a strong root system, even in superficial soils.
It is well-suited to pubescent oak forests and thermophilic beech forests. It could be introduced into a holm oak plot, but it would be susceptible to processionary caterpillars.
It's commonly used for the reforestation of calcareous wastelands in the hilly north-east of France. As a pioneer species, black pines have been used extensively for the restoration of mountainous terrain, especially in the Southern Alps in downy oak, Scots pine, and beech tree plots.

Black Pine Wood

Black pine has a resinous wood used to make products with good mechanical properties. It can be used for lumber and sawing. It is a good wood for pulp production. It is a knotty wood, but good silviculture can help reduce the amount.

Black Pine Symbolism

The name of the pine comes from the Celtic "pen," which means "the head, the top, the point." This tree symbolises an awakening, the consciousness of being. In the Far East, the pine is also a symbol of immortality.