T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Pinus contorta (Shore Pine)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: Pinus
Species: P. contorta
Binomial name: Pinus contorta
Common name:  Lodgepole pine, Shore pine

Pinus contorta originally from North America is a large shrub, or small to medium (occasionally large) tree, resinous, erect or spreading, with reddish brown bark (grey on surface) that is fissured and forming small plates. Branches are straight or somewhat twisted, usually on the trunk almost to ground level. It has brown hairless shoots and cylinder-shaped, purplish-brown, resinous buds. Two needle-like leaves (35-65 x 0.8-1.5 mm) per ‘bundle’ with each needle usually twisted and yellowish- green, with resin ducts half way along. It has cylinder-shaped male cones (5-15 mm long) and woody, long-lived female cones (30-60 x 20-35 mm) that usually point backwards or downwards on the branch and only open long after maturing to release winged seeds (1 cm long).
Contorta thrives on sites from coastal sand dunes to the upper limits of tree growth in the mountains. It can become established in disturbed and open forest, shrubland, tussock land, herb fields, farmland, bare land, mineralised places, screes, and volcanic habitats, mainly in sub-alpine areas.
Pinus contorta is a problem because of its ability to seed profusely and spread rapidly. Seed may spread more than 12 kilometres downwind of a tree or stand of trees. It spreads vigorously from individual plants or plantations into ungrazed native grasslands and scrublands, threatening nature conservation, landscapes, amenity values and recreational access. Contorta is also problem in exotic forests as it can out-compete the planted species. It will form dense thickets covering large areas making access almost impossible. They compete for forest space with native trees and plants, but provide none of the advantages these offer, such as berries and nectar, to encourage bird life and insects. Pine needles form a carpet which discourages regeneration of native forest floor species.



Photo showing how wilding pines can self spead over a hill side in the Wakatipu area. (Species unknown)


Extreme
wilding pine control video filmed at Kaweka Forest Park.
This 4 minute cvideo shows how DOC staff hang from a chopper to remove wilding pine trees.