Royle ex Gordon
Pinus kesiya, or Khasi pine is one of the most distributed pines in Asia. Its range extends south and east from the Khasi hills in the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya from where it got its name to northern Thailand, Philippines, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, southernmost China, Vietnam. The Khasi pine population are especially dense in India and Burma and quite sparse elsewhere in its natural range. It is an important plantation species elsewhere in the world, including in southern Africa and South America.
In English it is commonly known as either:
- the Khasi pine (from the Khasi hills in India)
- the Benguet pine (from the landlocked province of Benguet in Luzon, Philippines, where it is the dominant species of the Luzon tropical pine forests)
- the Three-needled pine.
The Philippine pine (Benguet pine) is sometimes known as Pinus insularis; however, the current opinion is to treat these as conspecific with P. kesiya. The city of Baguio is nicknamed "The city of pines", as it is noted for large stands of this tree.
Pinus kesiya is a tree reaching up to 30–35 m tall with straight, cylindrical trunk. The bark is thick, dark brown, with deep longitudinal fissures. The branches are robust, red brown from the second year, the branchlets horizontal to drooping. The leaves are needle-like, dark green, usually 3 per fascicle, 15–20 cm long, the fascicle sheath 1–2 cm long and persistent. The cones are ovoid, 5–9 cm long, often curved downwards, sometimes slightly distorted; the scales of second-year cones are dense, the umbo a little convex, sometimes acutely spinous. The scales have transverse and longitudinal ridges across the middle of the scale surface. The seeds are winged, 6–7 mm long with a 1.5-2.5 cm wing. Pollination is in mid spring, with the cones maturing 18–20 months after.
Khasi pine usually grows in pure stands or mixed with broad-leaved trees, but does not form open pine forests.
The soft and light timber of Pinus kesiya can be used for a wide range of applications, including boxes, paper pulp, and temporary electric poles. It is intensely used for timber, both sourced in natural forests and plantations.
Locally, the khasi pine is called:
- Burmese: ထင်းရှူး [tʰí̃ jú]
- Chinese: 思茅松 (Sīmáo sōng), after town Simao
- Ilokano: sáleng
- Laotian: ຄົວ [kʰúə]
- Vietnamese: thông ba lá
- Thai: สนสามใบ (Son Sam Bai), after their leaves
- Conifer Specialist Group (1998). "Pinus kesiya". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- Luu, Nguyen Duc To; Philip Ian Thomas (2004). Conifers of Vietnam. pp. 42–43. ISBN 1-872291-64-3.
- "Pinus kesiya". AgroForestryTree Database. International Centre for Research in Agroforestry. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pinus kesiya.|
- Gymnosperm Database: Pinus kesiya
- Suitability of Pinus kesiya for tree-ring analyses
- "Luzon Tropical Forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.