Forest 23 - Parana Pine


Araucaria angustifolia

Leaves of Parana pine 

Other common names

Candelabra tree. Portugese: pinheiro-do-Parana. Spanish:  pino Parana

Origin of the species name

Araucaria is derived from the tribe name Aracanos; angustifolia is from Latin and refers to the leaves being narrower than on A. araucana. 

Family

Araucariaceae

Date planted

November 2011 and March 2012

Lifespan

Parana pines can live around 500 years.

Araucaria augustifolia, Parana pines in Forest 23. Nov 2014

General description 

This is a tall evergreen conifer. Its crown is domed but in mature trees becomes flat topped with the branches only at the top of the tree. Its trunk is straight and its bark rough and deeply fissured. The cones are nearly spherical, weighing up to 4kg when green. Height 35m Spread 20m.

Natural distribution and habitat

The species is native to Argentina, southern Brazil and Paraguay where it grows as either the dominant or emergent tree of temperate or sub-tropical forest or in forests patches in grassland areas up to altitudes where frosts are common.

Conservation status

It is regarded as a critically endangered species as it has been logged at a hugely unsustainable rate. Although logging is now prohibited, illegal logging continues and while the establishment of Parana pine plantations has occurred, more economically viable trees such as Pinus and Eucalyptus species have been preferred.

Uses

It is the most valued timber tree in Brazil despite its exploitation to date. As the tree is tall and is unbranched for much of its height, the logs are long and contain few knots. This timber has had a variety of uses, from construction to the production of musical instruments and paper pulp. Its seeds are also eaten by the indigenous Brazilians and it is regarded as a sacred tree by several tribes.

Planting pattern

Planted in curved rows at the main entrance to the Arboretum.

Further reading

Farjon, A (2010) A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Brill.