Pining for the pine

Written By: Denzil Published In: Workshop words Created Date: 2015-05-20 Hits: 439 Comment: 0

To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass

is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.

- Helen Keller -

A fresh, hilly scent pervades in the uByld workshop – a smell so familiar to all who have strolled in the mountain woods full of these giant conifers, the pine trees!

Pine is defined as1
Any evergreen tree of the genus Pinus, having needle-like leaves borne in bundles and woody cones enclosing winged seeds: valued for their wood and their resinous products, as turpentine.

Interestingly, in its etymology (the study of the history, origin and development of words) pine is related to pinot (yes, the wine) and pituitary (yup, the gland). 

Pine has a very special place in mythology and folklore across civilisations and cultures. A large part of pines symbology is associated with fertility. In ancient Greece and Rome, the cones had a phallic significance. In Japanese folklore, two pine trees standing together symbolised fidelity and passionate love. In Greek and Roman mythology, the pine has been dedicated to Pan, Poseidon, Osiris, Neptune and Bacchus (the god of wine, remember? ;-)).

A popular Christian holiday legend goes:

As Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus fled to Egypt many plants hid them. One evening the family stopped near a large old pine tree. The tree invited them to spend the night inside the hollow in its trunk. After the family was inside, the tree folded its branches down around the family, hiding them when Herod’s soldiers passed. In the morning the Christ Child blessed the pine tree with an imprint of his tiny hand. If you cut a pinecone in half lengthwise, you will see the hand in the cone2

Various parts of the pine tree have been used in folk medicine to treat a variety of physical ailments (bronchitis, fevers, rheumatism, infections, sores, etc.) and also to drive away evil spirits. Pine essential oil is widely used today in aromatherapy to help stimulate mind and body, boost the immune system and fight infections.

Latest research suggests a strong link between the powerful smell of pine trees and climate change. It is now understood that the vapours being emitted from the vegetation in the pine forests play a significant role in reducing the impact of rising temperatures.

We just like to bring a little bit of the mountains into your home!

For more myths and legends surrounding this beautiful conifer: 

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