Khasi Pine, Pinus kesiya
Khasi pine (Pinus kesiya) is the most common of pines found in Asia. This pine can be found growing in the Khasi hills of Meghalaya as well as northern Thailand, Philippines, Burma, Cambodia, Laos as well as in the southern parts of China and Vietnam. The Khasi pine can be found on plantations in southern Africa and South America.
Khasi pine does not form pine forests but will grow in groups, known as stands, as well as with broad-leaved trees.
The Khasi pine is also known as the Benguet pine as it is the most prevalent pine in the Luzon tropical pine forest located in the Philippines in the province of Benguet. It is also known as the three-needled pine.
Khasi pine grows 98-114 feet tall. The trunk is straight and round. The thick bark is dark brown with deep cracks running up and down the trunk. Second year trees sport branches that are red-brown with horizontal drooping branches. The needles, or leaves, are dark green, 6-8 inches long with three needles per fascicle. The cones produced grow from 2-4 inches and are misshaped. The scales found on the second year cones are dense with ridges in the middle of the scale. The seeds are less than half an inch long with the wings measuring from half an inch to an inch long. The Khasi pine pollinates in mid spring and produces cones 18-20 months later.
Khasi pine is a soft, light wood used for making boxes, paper pulp as well as electricity poles. Turpentine was produced from the Khasi pine in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period.
Image Caption: Khasi pine (Pinus kesiya). Credit: Anne_Jimenez/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)