Aleppo Pine

Pinus halepensis

''Pinus halepensis'', commonly known as the Aleppo pine, is a pine native to the Mediterranean region. Its range extends from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Spain north to southern France, Malta, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania, and east to Greece. There is an outlying population in Syria, Lebanon, southern Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and Palestinian territories.
Aleppo pine -Pinus halepensis Bark of a very large Aleppo pine Australia,Eamw flora,Geotagged,Pinus halepensis,Spring

Appearance

''Pinus halepensis'' is a small to medium-sized tree, 15–25 m tall, with a trunk diameter up to 60 cm, exceptionally up to 1 m. The bark is orange-red, thick, and deeply fissured at the base of the trunk, and thin and flaky in the upper crown.

The leaves are very slender, 6–12 cm long, distinctly yellowish green, and produced in pairs. The cones are narrow conic, 5–12 cm long and 2–3 cm broad at the base when closed, green at first, ripening glossy red-brown when 24 months old.

They open slowly over the next few years, a process quickened if they are exposed to heat such as in forest fires. The cones open 5–8 cm wide to allow the seeds to disperse. The seeds are 5–6 mm long, with a 20-mm wing, and are wind-dispersed.
Aleppo Pine  Aleppo Pine,Geotagged,Israel,Pinus halepensis,Spring

Naming

The Aleppo pine is closely related to the Turkish pine, Canary Island pine, and maritime pine, which all share many of its characteristics. Some authors include the Turkish pine as a subspecies of the Aleppo pine, as ''Pinus halepensis'' subsp. ''brutia'' Holmboe, but it is usually regarded as a distinct species. It is a relatively nonvariable species, in that its morphological characteristics stay constant over the entire range.
Pine Cones Aleppo Pine's cones come in 2 shapes: 
"regular" ones - which open and spread the seeds, from which new trees will grow. 
narrow ones - they remain closed on the tree. they wait for really strong heat - i.e. wood-fire - to come. once the woods burn, these pine cones burst open and shoot their seeds all over. and yes, they shoot. don't be near them. 
after the fire, these seeds will be the first one to sprout, so new pine trees will grow.  Aleppo Pine,Geotagged,Israel,Pinus halepensis,Spring

Distribution

''Pinus halepensis'' is generally found at low altitudes, mostly from sea level to 200 m, but can grow above 1,000 m in southern and eastern Spain, well over 1,200 m on Crete, and up to 1,700 m in the south, in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

The tree is able to quickly colonize open and disturbed areas. It can grow on all substrates and almost in all bioclimates in the Mediterranean.

Uses

The resin of the Aleppo pine is used to flavor the Greek wine retsina.

From the pine nuts of the Aleppo pine is made a pudding called ''asidet zgougou'' in the Tunisian dialect; it is served in bowls, covered with cream, and topped with almonds and small candies.

Aleppo pine are used for bonsai.

Cultural

Paul Cézanne had an Aleppo pine in his garden at Aix-en-Provence; this tree was the inspiration and model for his painting ''The Big Trees''. As of 2005, the tree is still growing in Cézanne's garden.

References:

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Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionPinophyta
ClassPinopsida
OrderPinales
FamilyPinaceae
GenusPinus
SpeciesP. halepensis
Photographed in
Australia
Israel