Did you know that there are more than 100 species of pines? Pines are among the most planted and known plants in the world.
They are cone-shaped fruits (are coniferous plants), and leaves that are needle-like make them recognizable from afar.
The pine trees are mainly found in places where there are coniferous forests. They also grow, among other plants that are closely related to the conifers. Some of them include cedars, spruces, and firs.
Advantages of pine trees
All the varieties of pine trees are very important in different ways.
Let’s cover the various advantages of these trees.
Control soil erosion
Did you know that a pine tree is one of the trees tolerable to the sun, cold, drought, and soil conditions?
The roots of this tree hold the soil in place during all the seasons, while the needle-like leaves reduce the impact of the raindrops when it is raining.
Therefore, this makes the pine trees, one of the best trees that prevent different soil erosion, especially on the areas with steep slopes.
Provide food for wild animals
The pine trees have woody cones with seeds that have different nutrients required by animals for their survival. These seeds are among the things that attract the birds and animals to the pine trees.
The fact that all species of pine trees remain evergreen throughout every season ensures that their inhabitants have a food source.
They are a source of income for the economy
Pine trees are also a source of timber that can be used in different construction projects. Therefore, when the wood is sold, it is an added advantage of the economy.
They provide shade
As the pine tree grows, their branches form a canopy. When the sun is scorching, the canopy provides shade to animals, people, insects as well as the plants that grow under the pine trees.
They are a habitat for animals
Pine trees have dense branches and foliages that provide a home to so many animals in the wildlife. The young pine trees have branches extended to the ground, providing protection of the animals against the strong wind, predators, and harsh climatic conditions.
As these trees grow, their branches form a canopy that is very far from the ground. Their trunks are tall and very straight, and therefore no predator can climb into the top of the pine trees.
This ensures that the animals that are living on these trees are safe from their predators. Their branches also offer safe places for nesting and taking care of their young ones. Therefore, they are at home to different animals.
The following are some of the animals that depend on pine trees for shelter.
The most common animals that inhabit the pine trees are the birds. There are so many different types of birds that live on the different species of pine trees. Some of these birds are small, while others are large.
They include hawks, crows, jays, owls, bald eagles, American robin, and great horned owls, among others. When birds are selecting the type of tree to inhabit, there are things that they check.
For example, pine trees have so many cones that are a source of food for the birds, while the dense branches offer refuge to the birds during all the seasons.
Different types of birds can nest and hide from their predators from these trees. Since the pine trees are always evergreen, birds can build more and more nests on them and raise their g ones on the same trees.
Other birds will also make their homes in the trunks of these trees, especially when the trees are dead. When pine trees are planted in the home compound, you will also find some birds building their nests on these trees.
This is because the pine trees attract so many types of birds and also accommodate them all during any season. When these birds live in the pine trees, they also serve to spread seeds, which leads to the growth of more trees.
Most mammals are known to live on the ground shelters, but there are still others that depend on trees for shelter.
There are so many trees that shelter mammals and pine trees are one of them. Some of these mammals that live in the pine trees include:
Squirrels are among the mammals that dwell in pine trees. However, not all species of squirrels live on these pine trees.
The main species of squirrels that are pine dwellers include western gray squirrels, and tassel eared squirrels and red squirrels. All these species depend on the pine nuts for their food.
They make their nests in the pine tree branches while others live in the hollows of these trees. There are seasons when the squirrels depend on the pine seeds for food. This means that the pine tree is very important in the lives of the squirrels.
Almost every species of bats roost in different species of trees. A significant number of bat species live in the pine trees. The branches of the pine trees offer a conducive environment for the bats which require direct sunlight.
Other species of bats will live in the hollows of the pine trees. The pine trees’ bark also offers a conducive environment to the bat that does not want to have direct sunlight when roosting.
Pine trees qualify as a perfect habitat for the bats since they have all the things that they look for in a shelter. This includes ideal temperature, humidity, and light.
The bats that live on the pine trees are always safe from their predators, unlike those that live in the caves, under the trees, on rocky ground, and on buildings.
Apart from the bats and squirrels, there are other mammals that live on pine trees. They include raccoons, porcupines, and opossums.
The largest population of insects spends their lives on the conifer trees and other dwarf trees. The pine trees are home to a variety of insects.
For instance, insects like spiders make their webs on the pine trees and spend their lives in the pine trees. On the other hand, Bees make their hives in the pine trees and nest on the pine trees.
This means that the pine tree is a home to so many insects, even those who do not require nests or hives. The other types of and arachnids insects that live in the pine trees include beetles, ants, mosquitoes, butterflies, dragonflies, moths, aphids, mites, and scorpions.
Although these insects and arachnids may not depend on the pine trees for food, they leave the trees to look for food, and then they come back to rest on them.
Amphibians and reptiles
These are cold-blooded animals. Therefore, they require shelters that can offer them an environment with higher humidity. Most coniferous trees grow in environments with lower humidity.
Therefore, such environments are not perfect for cold-blooded animals like reptiles and amphibians. There are a few species of the animals in these classes that live in the pine trees.
They include the tree frogs, especially the gray tree frogs and pine woods tree frogs, and lizard species like iguanas.