In this genus, Pinus, are the White, Pitch, and Norway Pines, familiar to all.
Pinus sylvestris, - or Scotch Pine, - is found in the British Islands. There is a specimen of this tree at the Botanic Garden, Cambridge. It has some resemblance to Pitch Pine, (Pinus rigida,) but has more claim to beauty, of which the other has none, or very little. The Scotch Pine, or Fir, as it is called, differs from the Pitch Pine, in having its leaves in twos, instead of threes. Their color, also, is of a more glaucous green, and, if we remember right, they are also longer than the Pitch Pine. The Pitch Pine is so often seen in barren, sterile soils, that barrenness seems to be associated with it; and, as it has no claim to elegance, we should not recommend this, only for the sake of variety, and this in the back-ground. A few trees of the Scotch Pine may also be admissible, for the same reason, in large plantations.
P. resinosus. - Red or Norway Pine. - This tree is more ample in its dimensions, growing from fifty to one hundred feet high, in Maine. In this State it is not very common. The leaves are in twos, and much longer than on the Pitch Pine. We should recommend this species only where there are extensive grounds to decorate.
P. strobus. - The White Pine. - This tree is familiar to all, growing to a stately size in the most favorable locations, having been known to attain the height of 264 feet, in Lancaster, N. H., by actual measurement, according to reliable information given to Mr. Emerson by Dr. Dwight; and that they were frequently found 250 feet in height and six feet in diameter. This is about equal to the California trees, of which we have accounts. The White Pine is known by its leaves being in fives. The character of this genus is in having their leaves in a sheath of two, three, or five together. "For ornamental purposes, of all the well-known Pines," says Mr. Downing "we give the preference to our native White Pine. The soft, agreeable hue of its pliant foliage, the excellent form of the tree, and its adaptation to a great variety of soils and sites, are all recommendations not easily overlooked. Besides, it bears transplanting well; and is, on this account, also, more generally seen than any other species in our ornamental plantations. But its especial merit, as an ornamental tree, is the perpetually fine, rich, lively green of its foliage. In the Northern States, many evergreens lose their bright color in midwinter, owing to the severity of the cold; and, though they regain it quickly in the first mild days of spring, yet this temporary dinginess, at the season when verdure is rarest and most prized, is, undeniably, a great defect. Both the Hemlock and the White Pine are exceptions. Even in the greatest depression of the thermometer known to our neighbors on the 'disputed boundary' line, we believe the verdure of these, trees is the same fine, unchanging green. Again, this thin summer growth is of such a soft and lively color, that they are (unlike some of the other Pines, the Red Cedar, etc.,) as pleasant to look upon, even in June, as any fresh and full-foliaged and deciduous tree, rejoicing in all its full breadth of new summer robes. We, therefore, place the White Pine among the first in the regards of the ornamental planter." To this opinion we give our cordial assent.
P. pinaster "is a native of the South of Europe, much cultivated in England as an ornamental tree." Of this species we have no acquaintance, any more than we have with P. Lam-bertiana, P. SabiniaJia, P. ponderosa, and others, natives of California and other parts of the North-west Coast, which, no doubt, will prove hardy here, and be a great acquisition to our collection of Pines; but, as yet, they have not appeared amongst us, with the exception of a few small specimens raised from seed, in possession of curious amateurs in such matters.
P. Austrica. - "The Austrian Pine," Downing says, "for a rapid-growing, bold, picturesque evergreen, is well deserving attention. We find it remarkably hardy, adapting itself to all soils, (though said to grow naturally in Austria, on the lightest sands.) A specimen here, grew nearly three feet last season; and its bold, stiff foliage, is sufficiently marked to arrest the attention among all other evergreens." The same gentleman says of the Pinus cembra, the Swiss Stone Pine : "We find it perfectly hardy in this latitude. This tree produced an eatable kernel, and, though of comparatively slow growth, is certainly one of the most interesting of the Pine family."