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Macedonian Pine

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Title: Macedonian Pine  
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Subject: Šar Mountains, Musala, Vitosha, Pirin, Cronartium ribicola, Prokletije, Republic of Macedonia
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Macedonian Pine

Trees in native environment, Malyovitsa, Rila Mountains, Bulgaria.
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: Strobus
Species: P. peuce
Binomial name
Pinus peuce
Griseb.
Distribution range of Pinus peuce

Pinus peuce (Macedonian pine) (Macedonian: Молика, Molika) is a species of pine native to the mountains of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, the extreme southwest of Serbia, and the extreme north of Greece,[2][3][4] growing typically at (600-) 1,000-2,200 (-2,300) m altitude. It often reaches the alpine tree line in this area. The mature size is up to 35–40 m height, and 1.5 m trunk diameter.[2][3]


It is a member of the white pine group, Pinus subgenus Strobus, and like all members of that group, the leaves ('needles') are in fascicles (bundles) of five, with a deciduous sheath. They are 6–11 cm long. Its pine cones are mostly 8–16 cm long, occasionally up to 20 cm long, green at first, becoming yellow-brown when mature, with broad, flat to downcurved scales. The 6–7 mm long seeds have a 2 cm wing and can be wind-dispersed, but are also very often dispersed by Spotted Nutcrackers.[2][3]

Like other European and Asian white pines, Macedonian pine is very resistant to white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola).[5][6] This fungal disease was accidentally introduced from Europe into North America, where it has caused severe mortality in the American native white pines (e.g. western white pine, sugar pine, whitebark pine) in many areas. Macedonian pine is of great value for research into hybridisation and genetic modification to develop rust resistance in these species; hybrids with eastern white pine inherit some resistance.[6]


Macedonian pine is also a popular ornamental tree in parks and large gardens, giving reliable steady though not fast growth on a wide range of sites. It is very tolerant of severe winter cold, hardy down to at least -45°C, and also of wind exposure. It is locally naturalised Punkaharju in eastern Finland.[3]

Synonyms include Pinus cembra var. fruticosa Griseb., Pinus excelsa var. peuce (Griseb.) Beissn.,[7] Pinus peuce var. vermiculata Christ,[6] and Balkan pine.[8]

References

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