The pine trees of Rome—Italian stone pines, maritime pines and Aleppo pines—are as much a part of the city as the Colosseum and are instantly recognizable. These trees thrive in the hot summers and dry winters that define the Mediterranean climate, according to “Italy,” by The Lonely Planet.
Italian Stone Pine
The Italian stone pine, or umbrella pine, with its broad, domed crown and tall, bare trunk has become part of the Mediterranean landscape, according to “Trees,” by Colin Ridsdale, John White and Carol Usher. The tree can reach a height of 80 feet, and its bark is pale brown, which cracks into long, flat plates that run vertically down the trunk. The needles are attached to the branches in pairs and the pine cone is round with a flat base and contains edible pine nuts.
The maritime pine thrives in acidic and sandy soils, according to “Trees & Bushes of Europe,” by Oleg Polunin. The pine can reach a height of 130 feet, and its bark is purple-brown and smooth when young, becoming grooved in maturity. The needles are attached in pairs and the cones are oblong. The tree is harvested periodically for its resin by cuts made into the trunk.
The Aleppo pine is planted to help stabilize sandy soils in arid areas, according to “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees of the World,” by Tony Russell, Catherine Cutler and Martin Walters. The tree grows to a height of 65 feet and, on young trees, its bark is purple brown with orange grooves, and on older trees, the bark is red-brown with deeper orange grooves. The needles are clustered in pairs and the cones range in color from orange to red-brown.