When it comes to planting trees, it can't hurt to look into the additional benefits the tree in question can have! In addition to shade and beauty, trees can have many advantages or drawbacks.
Knowing what they are, especially when it comes to pine trees, can prove to be handy. Let's go over some of the great uses of pine trees!
Benefits from the pines can come from the trees themselves, or the needles. Some of the benefits and uses of pine trees include:
- Privacy Screen
- Erosion Control
- Scent/Air Freshener
- Disinfectant Spray
Now that we've got an idea of the different benefits that can come with pine trees let's go over the specifics!
Pine Tree Uses and Benefits
Pine trees come in many sizes and shapes, depending on the exact type. They are a popular choice in landscaping simply because they're beautiful and easy to care for. Here are some more uses and benefits that pine trees have.
1. Pine trees provide shade
Having a tree that shades either your house or your yard can have several benefits. In areas that experience lots of heat and sun, the shade can help keep your lawn green by stopping the moisture from evaporating as quickly.
Having a large tree to shade your house can also help cut down your energy bill in the summer by protecting your home from the sun, which will keep your air conditioning unit from working as hard to keep your home cooled down.
This can help save you money over time! Click here if you need ideas for the best groundcover to have under your pine trees!
2. Pines can make good windbreaks
Pine trees make some of the best windbreaks out there. Unlike many other trees, they don't lose their foliage during the winter, which means they don't lose their effectiveness when the weather gets cold.
Protecting your home from cold winter wind can help keep your home warm during the colder months. If your furnace doesn't have to work as hard, you'll be saving money!
The same effect can be said for the hot summer sun. The trees help keep the heat from the house, which prevents your air conditioning system from working as hard.
3. Pine trees can create a privacy screen
Whether you live out in the middle of nowhere, or near other people and want some privacy, pine trees are a great option. Never losing their needles, they provide cover during all seasons of the year and give you something spectacular to look at outside your window.
In addition to visual privacy, having a screen of trees can help keep down the noise from surrounding areas as well, or to help keep your neighbors from hearing as much of you.
4. Pines protect your soil from erosion
Pine trees help combat erosion in many different ways. The deep roots of many pines trees help hold the soil in place, helping to combat the natural erosion from water and wind.
The thick needles, whether on the tree or the ground, will also help keep the topsoil from being worn away by wind and rain.
By providing a buffer between heavy rain and the topsoil, pine needles offer protection from excessive disturbance. The tree roots hold soil in place and soak up water, keeping the soil from washing away.
5. Pine needles add scent and can be an air freshener
While the strength of the scent can vary between the different types of pine trees, pines trees have a pleasant fragrance that many people love.
There are several ways to take that scent and bring inside your house, in case the ambient smell from outside just isn't doing the job.
The easiest way to do that is to gather pine needles and boil them in some water on your stove. This will work best with green pine needles, and you can add additional scents to the mix, like cinnamon, to complement the smell of pine.
Make sure to keep adding water to the mix, so you don't burn the needles!
6. Pine needles and bark make good firestarters and firewood
Pine needles and wood all burn very easily, which makes them a great source of fire fuel. Whether you have a tree to get rid of, or a pile of pine needles to use, you can stock them up for fire starting purposes!
You can use pine needles to make firestarters by tying bundles of them together with twine for a quick burning starter, or you can incorporate something like paraffin wax to make them burn in a more controlled way, and make them longer-lasting.
7. Pine oil can be used to make disinfectant spray
You can use freshly fallen pine needles to make a disinfectant spray that will make your home spell fresh and pine-scented. Pine oil is a natural disinfectant, and mildly antiseptic, which makes it a fantastic natural alternative to many different household chemicals.
There are two easy ways to make it. Gather a large number of fresh pine needles and place them in a mason jar and then cover them with vinegar or vodka. Seal the container, and then store it in a cool, dark place for around six weeks.
The longer you leave it, the more pine-scented the resulting concoction will be. The final product will be yellow or green-tinted, and can be poured into a spray bottle, ready to use around the house!
8. Pine needles are nature's mulch
Pine needles make a fantastic groundcover and mulch, covering areas of ground to help lock in moisture and suppress weeds. This organic alternative is preferable to grass clippings, which may contain weed seeds that are looking for a place to sprout.
The slightly serrated edges of pine needles are one of the main reasons they make such an excellent ground cover, as they "lock" together, making it more wind resistant than your average home-grown mulch may be.
Pine needles are easy to rake up and place wherever you need them, although you might not want to use it as a mulch in areas where you run around barefoot!
9. Pine cones are great for crafts
Pine cones are beautiful. You can place a large pinecone on a shelf and it will function as a piece of art in its own right. But pine cones are also a popular natural material for a variety of crafts. Here's some inspiration -
Pinewood and pine needles are ideal for a variety of crafts, like woodwork and basket making!
Whether you're just carving to pass the time, or doing a more serious woodworking project, pine can be an excellent option for furniture like tables, chairs, or smaller decor items.
Pine needles can also be used in crafts like basket making! You'll generally need longer needles for this, which will vary based on the type of tree, but they are surprisingly easy to make, and can be beautiful gifts or decorations!
Do Pine Trees Help the Environment?
Pine trees are great for the environment in many different ways! Like all trees, they reduce carbon dioxide and other air pollutants.
Groups of trees will also help lower the ambient temperature of the area, and product windscreens, which help prevent damage to the ground caused by high winds.
Trees and the piles of pine needles on the ground will also help soften the impact of rainfall, which helps preserve the integrity of the soil and reduce erosion.
Which Pine Trees Are Toxic?
While many kinds of pine trees are safe for consumption, others aren't safe for people or animals to eat.
Some of the pines that are not safe for eating are the Norfolk Island Pine, Lodgepole Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Yew Pine, and Monterey Pine, as well as the Balsam Fir. Adverse side effects from these trees can include digestive distress, or in severe cases, death.
What Can I Do With Pine Wood?
Pine might be considered one of the most widely used softwoods around. From paper to furniture to floors, pine wood is made into a large number of things. If making furniture sounds daunting, try teaching yourself how to whittle!
If you don't feel like making anything with it, you can use it in your firepit, or sell it online to people who are looking for pine wood.
What is the Lifespan of a Pine Tree?
There are many different kinds of pine trees, and they all have a different lifespan. Some of them live to around one hundred years old, while others can reach one thousand years or more.
One of the oldest trees in the world is a bristlecone pine, estimated to be over four thousand years old. It's safe to say that in average cases, a pine tree will reach between one and two hundred years old.
Pine trees are easy to care for!
Once established, pine trees are very easy to take care of, and can be planted in many different soils and zones. There are many different kinds, making it easy to find one that perfectly suits the area you live, the height you want, as well as the shape.
On top of being easy to take care of, the established tree will give you many additional benefits! Click here to take a look at some different pine tree landscaping ideas!