Not everyone can distinguish between conifers, since they have common features and can be very similar, especially at a young age. Those who want to decorate their site with pine or cedar, before choosing a suitable tree, you should definitely study the difference between these species, paying special attention to such signs as height, needles, tree life, its flowering. All these and other nuances that make up the difference between spruce and pine will be described in detail in this article.
The first sign that helps determine if the cedar or pine tree is in front of you is the height of the trees. The height of the adult cedar is quite impressive and can reach 50 m. In this case, the height of the pine tree is on average 40 m and only in rare cases reaches higher values. In general, more diverse height indicators are characteristic precisely for pine, since there are a greater number of varieties of these trees specifically - about 200.
Some pines look like bushes, while others are very massive and have a spreading crown. If we consider the seedlings of these trees, we can see that they can be different in height, but in both cases it is important that they do not exceed 80 cm . Otherwise, it will be quite difficult for a young tree to take root.
Life span difference
The life expectancy of such conifers is determined by a particular variety. This plant lives on average 150 years, however, there are varieties of cedar trees whose life expectancy is longer. An example is the Siberian cedar, living up to 300 and even up to 600 years. However, the Lebanese species is able to live for more than 1000 years.
If we consider the pine, then the ordinary appearance of this tree usually lives up to 300 years. Varieties such as Siberian cedar can live 500 years, and European cedar - up to 1000 years. If we correlate these signs, then in general, the life expectancy of cedars is longer than that of pine trees. However, according to the average indicators of life expectancy, pine is in the lead.
Differences in the appearance of wood
If we consider the structure of the tree bark, then its appearance can also distinguish cedar from pine. A significant advantage of the cedar is the presence in its wood of healthy components that are released into the air over time. Pine has no such property.
Also, pine bark dries much faster than cedar. Because of this, the indicator of its strength is less; upon drying, a relief in the form of deep furrows begins to appear on it. The bark of cedar trees is able to maintain its original appearance for a longer time. However, the wood of both these coniferous species is quite actively used as a building material.
What is the difference between needles?
Another criterion for the difference between pine and cedar is their needles. The needles on the cedar trees are arranged in a spiral, and at the same time they are combined in bunches, each of which contains from 30 to 40 needles. The color of the needles is emerald, but it has a steel tint. If we consider a separate needle, we can see that it is tetrahedral or trihedral.
In pine needles are arranged in bunches of 2-5 pieces, can be either long or short, depending on the type of tree. If the tree is damaged, then a rosette may form in this area, from which short needles will grow. As for the color of the needles, it can be different and usually depends on the place in which the pines grow.
There are trees with a juicy green crown, as well as with almost gray needles.
The difference in the size and shape of the cones
The cones of these two trees, first of all, differ in shape. If the pine shape is oblong, then in cedar they resemble a barrel. In this case, pine cones usually hang from the trees, and cedar stick out like candles. The width of cedar cones (in particular, Siberian cedar) is from 5 to 8 cm, and the length reaches 13 cm. Cedar seeds (pine nuts) are contained in each cone in an amount of 30 to 150 pieces.
A distinctive feature of pine cones is their healing properties, which are actively used in medicine. Based on biologically active compounds found in young pine cones, drugs are made to purify blood, relieve inflammation, and choleretic effects.
Pine usually blooms from late May to early June. Monoecious flowers of this tree are collected in oval-shaped cones (females) or spikelets (males). During the flowering of this tree, the needles bloom. The flowering period of cedar begins a little later than in pine. In this case, fertilization occurs almost a year after pollination of flowers. In the process of flowering of their males, orange-raspberry inflorescences are formed, collected together at the base.
Flowering occurs over the entire width, while the lower layer creates a tier of growth.
Which is better to choose?
If you want to choose one of these trees for planting near your private house, then it is better to pay attention to a number of nuances, based on which it is more advisable to choose a cedar or pine.
- In terms of growth rate, with proper care, pine often overtakes a cedar tree. If in a year cedar can add 30 cm in growth, then the growth in some species of pine is 1 m.
- Both trees in the first years of life on the site must be shaded, however, cedar is still very whimsical to the soil composition.
- The bonus of growing cedar wood is the opportunity to regale themselves with nuts.
You can find out how to properly care for conifers by watching the video below.