Pinus gerardiana Wall. Ex Lamb.

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Pinus gerardiana Wall. Ex Lamb. Family

Pinaceae

Pinus gerardiana Wall. Ex Lamb. English Name

Pine Nut

Pinus gerardiana Wall. Ex Lamb. Local Name

Chalghoza pine

Pinus gerardiana Wall. Ex Lamb.

Pinus gerardiana Wall. Ex Lamb. Description

A medium sized tree 12 to 18 m tall with diameters of 0.4 m. The crown is short and rounded. The branches are flat or curved. The needles are in threes 3.6 to 12 cm long and are dark green. It is monoecious. The male flowers or cones are many crowded in headlike clusters. The female flowers are erect. The cones bloom between June and July. The fruit is the female cone. As it ripens it turns a shiny reddish-brown color, remains attached and closed. The seed in the cone takes a full year to mature after pollution and a full 2 years for the reproductive cycle to be completed. There are two-winged seed beneath each cone scale. Seed is shed in September through October. The tree is attacked by cone borers and bark beetles. Grazing and collection of the edible seed has limited natural regeneration. It is reproduced from seed. Seeds are low in viability. It is a slow growing tree that is adapted to harsh sites. A tree 21.3 m tall and 1.45 m in diameter has been recorded. The future of this valuable tree will depend on the development of protected seed sources. Grain straight, medium fine and un-even textured. Sapwood is white to yellowish white, and heartwood is light reddish brown to dark brown resinous. Strength moderately hard, having specific gravity of 0.58.

Pinus gerardiana Wall. Ex Lamb.

Pinus gerardiana Wall. Ex Lamb.Distribution

The tree is native to the Western Himalayas, the Hindukush Mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan extending south to the Sulaiman range in Balochistan. It is found in the inner dry valleys of Chitral, Kurram. Upper Swat, Astore, Shigar and in the Northern Areas. An intolerant tree that grows on a variety of soils and textures. It prefers well drained soils and will not grow on heavy or wet sites. It is drought hardy and is well adapted to a precipitation zone of 370 to 750 mm/yr. It prefers a semi-arid, cool temperate climate with a temperature range of -20 to 35°C at elevations between 2000 to 3000 m. It is frost hardy and grows in pure stand, in small groups, or as scattered individual trees.

Pinus gerardiana Wall. Ex Lamb.

Pinus gerardiana Wall. Ex Lamb. Uses

This is a valuable tree for reforestation and afforestation of denuded hill sides. Because of its ability to grow in semi-arid cold temperate climates this tree would be ideal for reclaiming denuded areas of Balochistan, Upper Kaghan, Gilgit and Skardu in Pakistan. Because of the value of the edible seed, natural regeneration is almost impossible. Also used for construction, fuel, food (pine nuts) and medicinal (pine nuts).

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