How do you recognize a conifer?

Detecting jaws - how do I recognize a jaw?

The conifer that we all know best is probably the fir tree, as it is found in many living rooms, shops and companies during the Christmas season. We know their needles, their cones and their smell. But what about other conifers? Do you know the characteristic features of a pine tree? And can you tell them apart from a fir or a spruce?

Identify jaws by their needles

You can easily recognize the pine, colloquially also called a pine, by its needles, because these are clearly different from all other conifers: The needles of the pine do not grow individually along the branch, but in a sheath that each contains two to five needles. Instead of individual needles, the jaw always has a whole “cluster of needles”. In addition, pine needles are significantly longer than those of fir or spruce: spruce needles are 1-2 centimeters long, pine needles 1-3 centimeters and pine needles 3-8 centimeters.

Pine needles are extremely bendable and flexible. Here you can build a good donkey bridge: With a little imagination, pine needles are reminiscent of an orthodontist's instrument, for example tweezers.

You can also easily recognize pine needles by their smell: They have the typical aromatic-ethereal smell that characterizes pine so much.

The spruce has the needles that prick the most, as its needles are very pointed at the front. Pine needles, on the other hand, are more rounded and blunt at their end. There is also a good donkey bridge here: The spruce stands out, the fir tree does not!

It is interesting that, depending on the tree species, the needles stay on the branches for different lengths of time before they fall off and renew themselves: in the pine, the needles stay on the branch for 3-6 years, in the spruce 6-8 years and in the fir 8-11 years Years.

Recognize pine cones

While the cones of the spruce hang on the branch, pine cones stand on the branch. Pine cones are also hanging from the branch. Pine cones are mostly spherical or round and quite hard. In addition, they are significantly smaller and appear overall more stable than the cones of the other conifers. However, there are exceptions: The cones of the West American Weymouth pine look very similar to the spruce cones.

Similar to firs and spruces, most pines have both male and female cones hanging from the tree. It takes about two years for the seeds in the pine cone to ripen. Then the cones fall from the tree as a whole.

Incidentally, pines do not bloom for the first time until after 40 to 50 years!

Identify pines by their bark

The bark is a very distinctive feature of the pine, because it is very flaky or flat and becomes thicker and more cracked with age. The bark of the spruce, on the other hand, is very thin, while that of the fir is smooth and cracks with age. Fir bark is whitish gray, spruce bark is brownish red and pine bark is yellowish to reddish.

But the three coniferous tree species can also be clearly distinguished by their crown: fir and spruce have a pointed crown (which is why they are so well suited as a Christmas tree!), While the pine is characterized by a rounded, flattened crown.

By the way, native pines with us are the mountain pine (mountain pine), the Austrian black pine, the Scots pine (Scots pine) and the Swiss stone pine. However, there are many other, more exotic species of pine than saplings to buy in tree nurseries. Pine trees, such as the Japanese black pine, can also be bought as bonsai.

Recognize pine by the finished sawn wood

Spruce and fir cannot be distinguished on a completely sawn-up wooden board - but the wood of the pine can be distinguished. It is significantly harder than fir or spruce wood, has a dark core and very often visible "knotholes".