Forest 90 - Guadalupe Island pine


Pinus radiata variety binata - This forest contains the same variety as Forest 46 but those trees are native to Cedros Island.

Guadalupe Island pine leaves. Photo not from the Arboretum, by E. Hawkes

Other common names

Radiata pine

Origin of the species name

Pinus is classical Latin for pine; radiata is from Latin and is said to refer to the radial markings on the scales of the cone; binata is from Latin refers to the pine needles being in pairs.

Family

Pinaceae

Date planted

April 2012

Lifespan

Guadalupe Island pines have an expected lifespan of 80-90 years.

Guadalupe Island pine trees. Photo not from the Arboretum, by E. Hawkes

General description

This is a medium-sized conifer with a single trunk which, in the wild, is often forked or branched near the ground. The bark is often deeply fissured, rough and scaly. The branches are spreading or ascending to form a dense crown. The leaves are needle shaped and usually in groups of two. Pollen cones are orange-brown and cylindrical. Seed cones take about two years to mature. They are brown, egg-shaped and more symmetrical than those of Pinus radiata var. radiata. Height 25m Spread 18m.

Natural distribution and habitat

This variety is native to Guadalupe Island in the Pacific Ocean, about 100 kms west of Baja California Norte in Mexico. Isolated trees and small stands are found growing on steep slopes at 600-1200 metres elevation.

Conservation status

The P. radiata var. binata is classified as a vulnerable species on Guadalupe Island. There are 200-250 adult trees and several hundred seedlings on Guadalupe Island. Measures have been taken to fence out feral goats and then eradicate them from the Island. This has resulted in the first significant regrowth in 150 years and it is hoped that the recovery will continue.

Planting pattern

Planted in a regular square grid pattern.

Uses

Guadalupe Island is largely uninhabited so uses on this island are unknown. In general, Radiata pine is the most widely planted tree species in the world. The wood is used for pulp, construction, carpentry, veneers, furniture, laminated wood, crates and boxes. The bark is often used as garden mulch. The tree has been widely planted in parks and as windbreaks. Both the Cedros and Guadalupe Island populations provide potential sources of genetic diversity.

Further reading

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