Pine tree species vary in individual characteristics, such as the number of needles in a bundle and the size and shape of the cones. They also differ in their requirements, such as the amount of sun they need, their ability to hold up to wind and the type of soil they prefer. That's not the end of the story though; pine trees have a few things in common, as well.
Pine Trees and Soil
Most pine trees do not require exceptionally rich soil, as long as drainage is good. That is why, in a natural setting, pine trees can be found growing on rocky slopes and sandy barrens, where fertility is low.
Pine Trees and Air Pollution
Pine trees are vulnerable to air pollution. It causes pines to have abnormal needle drop and poor growth, and can even kill trees.
Pine Trees and Pests
Healthy trees are usually able to survive attacks from aphids or other pests, but trees that have been weakened by drought, smog and mites or other pests, are at a much greater risk. Most pine trees are susceptible to aphids, which announce their presence with sticky secretions, sooty mildew and yellowing needles. Other pests attack only certain varieties, but strong healthy trees will always withstand an attack much better than weaker counterparts.
Pine Trees and Pruning
Pines can be shaped by pruning. To achieve a cascade effect, cut back the vertical main trunk to induce side growth, and weigh down side branches. An opposite, upswept effect can be achieved by removing all downward growing twigs and branches, and cutting out any others that distract from the effect.
Pine Trees and Birds
Pine trees provide homes and places to perch temporarily for many different kinds of birds. Many birds consider the seeds contained within pine cones to be a gourmet feast, include grosbeaks and red crossbills, among others.