Live Oak Tree

The bark of Live Oak Trees is usually gray and smooth when young, and as the tree ages the bark can remain gray or turn even black in shade venues. Some Live Oak Trees exhibit crusty and furrowed bark at aging. The coloring of the Live Oak Tree bark can depend on a number of other factors such as saphrophitic organisms growing atop the bark: algae, fungi, lichens, and even ferns like the Resurrection Ferns that appear gray when dry but bright green after rains. The Resurrection Ferns can sometimes completely encircle the Live Oak Tree trunk. The color of the Live Oak Tree bark can vary with the season, the side of the tree where the tree is views and the influence of shading and humidity factors caused by associated tree and shrub species growing nearby.

History of Fast Growing Pine Trees for Shade

Special Article by Patrick A Malcolm

It is difficult to write a history of Pine Trees, because there are so many species of pine trees, that evolved at different locations. There were some specific archaeological excavations that point to an early occurrence of pine trees in the world.

Turkish pine trees have been dated to have been growing in the 8th and 9th centuries, B.C. by carbon dating of pine tree relics, as reported by archeologists from Cornell University published in the journal, Science. December 21, 2001.

The first South Carolina permanent, colonial settlement was in the City of Charleston, South Carolina, and the first pine boards were cut from the mouth of the Ashley River in 1670. Naval stores were resin products that were retrieved from the growing Southern yellow pine trees or from the stumps from which was made the explosive, dynamite. Tar and pitch extracts were valuable extracts that were sold as naval stores, the turpentine being principal ingredient as a paint thinner. In early American colonial history, small pine trees were often cut, used and decorated as Christmas trees.

Pine tree tar was a very important item that was used to melt and seal the cracks between boards in sailing ships. The King of Sweden granted permission to a company in Stockholm, Sweden to sell pine tree tar for this purpose in the year, 1648.

Roy Britt has reported that pine tree growth rings were examined and revealed a hurricane record dating back to the year 1780 at Valdosta, Ga.

William Bartram wrote of numerous encounters with pine trees in his epic book, Travels, of 1773, when he wrote: “There is no tree or species of the pine, whose wood, i.e. so large a portion of the trunk, is supposed to be incorruptible, exposed in the open air to all weathers but the long leaved Pine, (Pinus palustrus.)” page 455, Travels

Bartram often used pine knots as a fuel, near Augusta, Georgia, “We came to camp early, and raising great fires with Pine – knots and other wood, we dried ourselves and kept warm during the long night,” page 459. Early American forests were filled with the long leaf pine tree, Pinus palustris, that made the American economy grow. The populations of long leaf Southern pine trees has been so thinned, that it is very difficult to locate the trees in large numbers.

Since the year, 810 the city of Venice, Italy has been standing strong and mighty with its ever present clock tower, and St. Marks square. What few people know, however, is that 'The City of Venice rests on the hearts of Larch.' In the ninth century the name 'Pine' had yet to be coined, so today if you translate that saying, you get, 'The city of Venice rests on the hearts of Pine.' Today heart Pine is a very valuable building commodity, so imagine that the entire city of Venice rests on hundreds of thousands of antique, 'hearts of pine,' trunk, bark and all.

Pine trees throughout the world, have, since the beginning of time, been a key factor in the advancement of mankind. When cave men discovered fire, it was such a hot commodity that in order to keep their precious new discovery burning throughout the night, they would collect pine cones from the forests of towering, fast growing, pine trees and place them on the smoldering embers. The resin would act with the moisture of the pine cones and burn the pine log fires for hours. The next morning the Cavemen were able to stoke the fire, and billows of smoke would come wisping out, and as they added twigs of slag pine, and small, dry, kindling, branches the flames would begin to pour forth. The men would spear fish with triton's made from twisted and carved pine tree branches, and kill boar, and small game with spears carved from the small, straight, trunks of young pine trees. As the women would make loin cloths from the skins of large animals and cook food over pine flames, the men were experimenting with building. It is thought by some that the caveman evolved from the Neanderthal when he learned how to build. The evolving men would drive posts into the ground and strap pine tree limbs to the top using the sinews of animals, and sticky resin from the pine tree was used to help secure pine tree needles to the roof for shelter.

Pine trees are evergreen, coniferous, (conebearing) trees, fast growing and are found in all parts of the world (six of seven continents). There are approximately one hundred twenty species of pine trees. There are short pine trees, tall pine trees, wide pine trees, skinny pine trees and various colored Pine trees. Pine trees have green to bluish grey leaves in the form of needles that are arranged in bundles of two to five or six to eight, depending on pine tree species. The cones of pine trees range in size from ½'' to 12 inches. The Longleaf pine, Pinus paulustris, bears one of the largest cones, up to 10 inches and the Mugo pine, Pinus mugo, has one of the smallest cones at ¾'' to 2''. Pine trees can tower to one hundred thirty feet high, such as the Longleaf pine, or grow to a shrubby eight feet high, such as Mugo pine trees.

Typically, birds such as Turkeys, build roosts in the growing tops of Pine Trees. They feed on the seed inside the dried pine cones, as do Quail, Dove, and small game, like foxes, and squirrels. As the birds drop undigested seeds, the pine tree forests grow larger and larger. Deer typically try and rub their felt covered horns on young and growing pine trees. The most prolific animal rub is on the pine tree, because of the soft, tender bark that easily sloughs off on the ground beneath the trees. Deer, however, will rub on other trees such as scrub oaks.

Pine trees growth patterns is so adaptable and variable, that they are known to naturally cross pollinate between species to evolve into an improved, hybrid variety of Pine tree. This is the case with the Sonderegger Pine tree, Pinus palustris x Pinus taeda, of the Southeastern United States. A natural hybrid cross between the Longleaf Pine tree and the Loblolly pine tree, that combines most of the very best qualities of both species of trees: longer pine needles and fatter, faster growing, pine tree cones with faster, more consistent, growing abilities resulting in mature trees in an unbelievably short amount of time.

Pine trees are the leading source for paper products and building materials in the world. Loblolly pine trees, Pinus taeda, is one of the leading fast growing timber species in the United States, growing from New Jersey to Florida and spreading roots growing established in forests all the way to Texas, growing vigorously and fast. The timbers of this species are very compact which makes them a great choice for pine tree flooring.

In the 19th century, pine tree growers noticed that the sap from pine trees could be collected and boiled down with several bi-products that could be equally marketed, making the “Naval Store's Boom” so successful. Resin oil could be taken for coughs, and scratchy throats, and some soaps, and glues were also processed, with turpentine as the primary bi-product. Pine trees also began to be harvested around this time on a commercial level devastating growing pine forests to make paper and build houses.

Pine trees are also known throughout the outdoor world as a survival plant. The cambium, or sub-bark is moist and almost sweet, but rich in vitamins A and C. In Sweden, in the winter time, the Swedes often make 'strunt' tea from the needles and tiny baby pine cones of the Pinus nigra - European Black Pine tree or Austrian Pine tree.