Characteristics of Khasi Pine Tree (Pinus kesiya) in the Wild

Pinus kesiya
Khasi Pine or Benguet Pine (Pinus kesiya) is one of the most distributed pine trees in Asia. Its reach extends to almost all of Asia including northeast India, northern Thailand, the Philippines, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, southernmost China, and Vietnam. Khasi Pine is also an important tree in other places, including in southern Africa and South America.
 
The name “Khasi” comes from the Khasi hills in India, and “Benguet” comes from the Benguet province of Luzon, Philippines, where the tree is the dominant species in the tropical pine forests of Luzon. Khasi Pine is sometimes treated as a Pinus insularis species.

 

Characteristics of Khasi Pine Leaf

Pinus kesiya Leaf
Source: inaturalist.org/bit

The leaves are needle-like, dark green, usually contains 3, 15-20 cm long.

 

Characteristics of Khasi Pine Fruit

Pinus kesiya Fruit
Source: inaturalist.org/bit

The fruit is conical ovate, 5-9 cm long, often curved to the bottom, umbo slightly convex, sometimes very spinous.

The seeds are winged, 6-7 mm long with 1.5-2.5 cm wings. Pollination occurs in mid-spring, and the cones ripen 18-20 months thereafter.

 

Characteristics of Khasi Pine Tree

Pinus kesiya Tree
Source: flickr.com/SierraSunrise

The Khasi Pine tree can grow as a medium-sized tree that reaches 35 meters with a perpendicular, cylindrical trunk. The bark is thick and dark brown, with deep cracks. The branches are sturdy, brownish red, the branches flatten out to droop.

This tree usually grows in pure stands or mixed with broadleaf trees, but does not form open pine forests.

 

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