PINES and FIRS, (Pinus,) constitute a very numerous family of cone-bearing timber-trees, that thrive the best in cold countries. The woods differ somewhat in colour, partly from the greater or less quantity of resinous matter or turpentine contained in their pores, which gives rise to their popular distinctions, red, yellow, and white firs or deals, and the red, yellow and white, spruce, or pitch pines, and larches. They are further distinguished by the countries in which they grow, or the ports from whence they are shipped, as, Norway, Baltic, Memel, Riga, Dantzic, and American timber: Swiss deal; etc.

The general characters of the wood, and its innumerable uses besides those of ship and house carpentry, are too generally known to call for any description in this place; but those who may require it will find abundant information in Tredgold's Carpentry, pages 208 to 218. The Swiss deals, imported under the name Belly-boards, are used for the sounding-boards of musical instruments. The larch is particularly durable, from the quantity of turpentine it contains; it has of late been considerably employed in her Majesty's dockyards for naval architecture, as likewise the Hackmetack larch: larch is considered the best wood for the sleepers of railways; its bark is also used for tanning. "The American pitch-pine is likewise exceedingly durable, and is much used in the West Indies, etc, for flooring, as it is free from the attacks of the white ant." The white hemlock, from St. John's, New Brunswick, Halifax, contains very little turpentine, and is remarkably free from knots: it is sometimes imported from 2 to 3 feet square, and 60 to 70 feet long, and is suitable for piling, the staves of dry casks, &c; it stands extremely well.

The Cowdie, Kaurie, or New Zealand Pine, or Dammara australit, is the most magnificent of the coniferous woods, although not a true pine. It is said to grow from 4 to 12 feet diameter; one that had been blown down by the wind was found by Brown to measure upwards of 170 feet. The Norfolk Island pine, Araucaria excelsa, has enormous knots, which were not at page 37.

In Norway, when they desire to procure a hard timber with an overdose of turpentine, they ring the bark of the branches just before the return of the sap; the next year they ring the upper part of the stem; the third year the central, and lastly, the lower part near the ground. By these means the sap or turpentine is progressively hindered from returning, and it very much increases the solidity and durability of the timber. The roots of some of the red deals to abound in turpentine, that the Scottish Highlanders, the natives of the West Indies, and of the Himalayas, use splinters of them as candles. The knots of deal, especially white deal, are particularly hard; they are altogether detached from the wood in the outer planks, and often fall out when exposed in thin boards.

The pines and firs betas; so numerous, and the umbers of many bring known in commerce by such a variety of names, it is difficult to ascertain the trees which yield them.

The Pinus sylvestris, however, called the wild pins, or Seotch fir, yields the red deal of Riga. called yellow deal in London, Abies excelsa, or Norway spruce fir, yields white deal, Abies picea, or silver fir, has whitish wood, much used for floor-ing; Larix europea, is the larch common on the Alpine districts of Germany, Swit-zerland, and Italy. Several other pines, as P. Pinaster, Pinea, Cembra, austriaca and pyrenaica, are found in the south of Europe, but their Umber is lees known in commerece.

The North American pines, P. strobus, or Weymouth pine, called white pine in North America, and much used throughout the Northern States; P. mitis, or lutea, the yellow pine, is chiefly employed is the Northern and Middle States for house and ship-buildlng; it is considered next in durability to P. australis. Southern pine, called also P. palustris, and yellow pine, pitch pine, and red pine in different districts: it is said to form four-fifths of the houses in the Southern States, and to be preferred for naval architecture. Its timber is exported to the West Indies, and to Liverpool, where it is called Georgia pitch-pine. Pinus teada, frankincense pine, called white pine in Virginis; P. rigids, Virginian or pitch-pine; P. banksiana, Hudson's Bay or Labrador pine; P. inops, Jersey or poor pine, and P. resinosa. The American pitch pine or red pine, called Norway pine in Canada, and yellow pine in Nora Scotia, and many others, yield deals of various qualities, more or less used in different districts.

The American spruce firs are the Abies alba, nigra and rubra, the white, black, and red spruce firs; the last is sometimes called Newfoundland red pine, and employed in ship-building; both it and the black pine are exported to England; Abies canadensis. hemlock spruce fir, and A . balsamea, balm of Gilead flr, are also employed, although less valued for their timber, but the American larch, Larix ame-ricana, is much esteemed. On the west coast of America some magnificent pines have been discovered, as P. Douglasii, sad Lawbertiana, and others in Mexico. In the southern hemisphere the Cowdie pine or New Zealand pitch tree, Dammara australis, considered so valuable for masts, belongs to the same genus as the Dammar tree, D. Orientalis. The Himslsyas abound in true pines: a splendid specis is the Pinus Deodara already mentioned under Cedar, so also are Pinus excelsa, Khutrow longifolia, with Abis Webbiana, Pindrow, and others.