Hartweg’s Pine, Pinus hartwegii

Hartweg’s pine (Pinus hartwegii) is found growing in the mountains of  Mexico and Central America east to Honduras. This tree was discovered and named in 1838 by Karl Hartweg. The Hartweg’s pine is related to the Pinus Montezuma species which has shorter needles, as well as smaller cones and grows at lower altitudes.

The Hartweg Pine grows at altitudes of 8200-14100 feet above sea level forming the alpine tree line in the higher mountains of Mexico. This pine tolerates dry winters, wet summers as well as frost and ice in the mountains where it grows.

The Hartweg pine is a medium to tall growing from 66-98 feet tall with long straight trunks and rounded top. The bark is dark grey-brown, thick, scaly, and grooved. The needles are dark green and grow in bundles of five measuring 3.9-7.8 inches long. Cones are oval, black to dark-purple measuring 2.3-5.1 inches long. Seeds measure 0.196-0.236 inches with wings measuring 0.59-0.98 inches long.

The Pinus Hartwegii has been the focus tree for a study done on climate change. It has been observed that the climate is changing in the regions where they grow, bringing colder temperatures, which are stressing the trees, and causing them to become weak and susceptible to infestations of pests such as the round headed pine beetle and the bark beetle, which is known to kill the crown of this tree.

Caulk is made from the resin that is collected from the Pinus Hartwegii. The resin does not need prior refinement or need to be distilled making it economical to produce.

Image Caption: Hartweg’s pine (Pinus hartwegii). Credit: Jose Francisco Del Valle Mojica/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)