seeds of Pinus kesiya, Khasi Pine
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Pinus kesiya, also called Khasi pine, is a pine species that belongs to the family Pinaceae. The plant’s synonyms include Pinus cavendishiana, Pinus kasya, and Pinus Khasia. Common names for the plant include the three-needled pine and Benguet pine. The tree’s native range extends from India through Cambodia, Philippines, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, to Southern China. Successful naturalisation has led to the tree’s cultivation in South America and Africa. Pinus kesiya can grow to a height of between 30 to 35 metres. The tree trunk is cylindrical and linear while the bark is fissured, dark brown, and thick. The branchlets, which develop from sturdy reddish-brown branches, either droop or remain horizontal. The leaves are dark green, needle-like and grow in groups of three in every fascicle. Each leaf has a length of between 15 and 20 cm. The cones are egg-shaped, minimally distorted and are 5 to 9 cm long. The seeds, on the other hand, are winged and have a length of 6 to 7 mm. Pinus kesiya is the ideal tree to use in reforestation efforts especially those caused by fire. This tree species is the tree of choice for reforestation in Thailand. The tree also serves as an excellent shade tree for plants that would otherwise suffer if exposed to the sun’s scorching heat, e.g., coffee. The trees contain a substance called oleoresin which yields both turpentine and rosin when distilled. The rosin is an essential raw material in the manufacture of glue, paper, and soap while turpentine aids the manufacture of paints. Pinus kesiya also provides softwood timber that is ideal for ship building, construction, joinery, making furniture, flooring, making agricultural implements, mine props et al. The wood also proves useful in charcoal making. It is common for Pinus kesiya to have a red heartwood. One can chip the red heartwood off the tree and use it as a torch.
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