Pine describes a whole variety of wood species, which are traditionally broken down into four main subgroups: Southern Pines, Fire Pines, White Pines, and “Old World” Pines. Some of the more common species are listed below.
Names and Scientific Names:
Pine (Carpinus betulus)
Carribean (Heart) Pine (Pinus caribaea)
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
Loblolly (Southern Yellow) Pine (Pinus taeda)
Longleaf (Southern Yellow) Pine (Pinus palustris)
Shortleaf (Southern Yellow) Pine (Pinus echinata)
Western White Pine (Pinus monticola)
Benguet Pine (Pinus insularis)
Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)
Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta)
Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida)
Pond Pine (Pinus serotina)
Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)
Radiata Pine (Pinus radiata)
Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)
Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
Scrub Pine (Pinus virginiana)
Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii)
Spruce Pine (Pinus glabra)
Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana)
White Cypress Pine (Callitris glauca)
North America into Central America, as well as Northern Europe and the former Soviet Republics.
The sapwood of pine is usually light yellowish-white to yellowish-tan, while the heartwood is light orange-yellow to red or yellowish-brown in color. The wood has a closed grain varying in figuring amongst the species. The grain is usually straight, sometimes irregular, and the texture is commonly medium and uneven.
Pine species do not usually have a high resistance to decay, but they do have a propensity to absorb preservatives rather well. The wood commonly has no odor. Most pine species are not difficult or time consuming to dry properly.
Pine woods can vary widely in hardness from species to species. Flooring choices can range comparably from hard maple or wenge to red oak to even softer than Douglas fir in hardness. True pine has a Janka rating of 1570, Carribean heart pine is 1280, red pine is 1630, longleaf southern yellow pine is 870, both shortleaf and loblolly southern yellow pine are 690, white pine is 420, and eastern white pine ranks in at 380 to give a few specific numbers.
Pine on average does not require an abnormal amount of effort to saw properly. Both nails and glue hold well with pine flooring. On average, the various species sand better than white oak but the softer varieties can sometimes marr under heavy traffic.
Pine’s many uses include flooring, lumber, plywood, poles, pulp, paper, Christmas trees, and pine straw.