An Ancient Genus with 100+ Species
Pinus is one of the oldest genera on the planet and it's species are found on every corner of the globe. The variety of technical properties however is staggering and the dramatic differences can be traced back to an evolutionary branching into 2 sub-genera. The White Pines and the Yellow Pines each went their separate ways as a way of finding a competitive advantage over the emerging angiosperms who were superior survivalists. What better way to compete by finding a while new playing ground. The Pines went where the hardwoods feared to tread and have thrived for millions of years.
For a really great read on this evolutionary divison and how fire adaptation plays into it, check out this paper written by John Keeley in the Annals of Forest Science.
What this episode is NOT about is the construction lumber trade. The SPF or Spruce/Pine/Fir products surprisingly are mostly Spruce and Fir with very little Pine. Regardless these trees have their own market and trade practices and many of the species discussed in this discussion don't directly relate to the SPF product lines.
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