seeds of Pinus yunnanensis, Yunnan Pine
Pinus yunnanensis, also known as the Yunnan pine, is a conifer species of the family Pinaceae. The tree’s synonyms include Pinus insularis var. tenuifolia, Pinus insularis var. yunnanensis, and Pinus sinensis var. yunnanensis. The tree has its origins in the Chinese provinces of Guangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou. Pinus yunnanensis can achieve a maximum height of between 10 and 15 metres. Mature trees have a flat-topped crest and a red, fissured bark that constantly exfoliates. The leaves take the appearance of needles which develop in bundles of two or three. Each leaf can grow to a length of between 20 and 30 cm. The cones, on the other hand, are red-brown, occur in groups of two to five, and have a length of 3 to 7 cm. Pinus yunnanensis provides high quality timber which has a variety of uses. Such uses include the construction of houses, bridge building, making furniture, flooring, and as a source of wood pulp. The wood pulp is in turn used by pulp-paper mills in the manufacture of paper. The tree’s leaves are rich in tannins which once extracted are a useful ingredient in the processing of vanilla flavour. The bulk of the tree’s resin deposits are concentrated in the trunk. The resins are usually distilled to differentiate the turpentine from the rosin. Rosin is an essential raw material in industrial processes that produce sealing wax. Rosin is also the material used to fashion bows meant for violins. The pitch within the rosin is effective as a waterproofing material which, once isolated, aids the preservation of wood. Turpentine, on the other hand, finds its use in the manufacture of paints and varnish. Pinus yunnanensis also has an environmental benefit brought about by its roots. The root system maintains a strong grip on soil which protects it from erosion.
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