Confocal Microscopy Image Gallery
Plant Tissue Autofluorescence Gallery
Pine trees are cone-bearing evergreens that comprise the genus Pinus of the family Pinaceae. The conifers are naturally widely distributed north of the equator, but are also grown in many areas in the Southern Hemisphere.
A number of pine species grow rapidly and are tolerant of poor conditions, such as acid or arid soils or high elevations, making them a popular planting choice in many locales uninhabitable by other trees. The characteristics of pines also make them well suited for use in reforestation projects. Some varieties of the trees, however, require fire to complete their reproduction process, which can hinder their proliferation in stands where fires are habitually suppressed by human interference.
All pines are technically softwood trees, but for commercial purposes members of the genus are regularly divided into hard pines and soft pines. The wood of hard pines is typically tougher, more coarse-grained, and darker in color than that of soft pines. Both kinds of pine are very valuable natural resources, with various species being utilized heavily in the paper manufacturing and construction industries. The trees, which are commonly grown in even-stand plantations, also serve as sources of fuel, food products, rosin, and turpentine. Some pines make good ornamentals, and a few species generate high prices in the winter months when sold as Christmas trees.
Additional Confocal Images of Pine Wood
Pine Wood at High Magnification - The high resin content of pines renders them highly flammable and outbreaks of fire can quickly devastate plantations of the trees. Pines are also susceptible to an array of fungal diseases and pests.
Nathan S. Claxton, Shannon H. Neaves, and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.