Canary Island Pine, Pinus canariensis

Canary Island pine (Pinus canariensis) is an evergreen that is native to the outer Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. This pine is heat resistant, fire resistant, and does not tolerate hard frosts; therefore, this pine only grows in the subtropics. This pine also tolerates the extreme differences in rainfall ranging from less than 7.87 inches per year to several thousand inches per year. The Canary Island pine is the tallest tree growing in the Canary Islands, but large trees are rare due to over-cutting.

The Canary Island pine grows from 98 feet to 131 feet in most places but can grow up to 196 feet tall in the perfect location. The trunk is 3.2-3.9 feet in diameter for most of the trees and up to 8.69 feet around in the perfect location. The needles are green to yellow-green and grow in bundles of three measuring 7.87-11.81 inches long. The cones are chestnut-brown in color and measure 3.9-7.0 inches long and 1.96 inches wide.

This pine is advantageous to this area due to the needles trapping condensation from the air and then dropping it to the ground below which is absorbed into the soil and works its way down into the underground aquifers. The heartwood of the Canary Island pine has a strong sweet smell and produces some of the hardest most durable pine boards used in construction. This pine grows as an ornamental tree in warmer climates such as California and Arizona.

Image Caption: Canary Island pine (Pinus canariensis). Credit: Frank Vincentz/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)