Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Pinus wallichiana
Bhutan pine

Tag 48
54 deg 34.967N
5 deg 56.159W

This is one of the 5-needle pines, a large group that are quite difficult to tell apart. There are about 15 species commonly seen in cultivation and more species and sub-species in the wild. This species has distinctive very fine pendulous needles with a bluish colour and three distinct lines of stomata running the length of the needle. The needle is finely toothed and the needle sheath is large, papery (see photo below) and is deciduous - ie is shed during the first year after needle formation. The winter buds have scales that are tightly pressed to the bud. The cone is large, cylindrical and rather lax. This is a very handsome tree. The example in the Belfast Botanic gardens is beside the path from the Kelvin statue to the Ulster Museum.

Pinus wallichiana in Belfast Botanic Gardens

Pendulous nedles of Pinus wallichiana

Bhutan pine in Belfast Botanic Gardens Distinctive pendulous needles of Bhutan pine

cone of Pinus wallichiana

needle structure of Pinus wallichiana

Mature cone of Bhutan pine Slice through the five needles of Bhutan pine

leaf-sheaths of Pinus wallichiana

winter bud of Pinus wallichiana

Papery leaf sheaths of Bhutan pine. These are shed as the needles mature Winter bud of Bhutan pine

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2009. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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