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Christmas Tree

  • Date Submitted: 11/22/2011 09:32 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.4 
  • Words: 321
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Pine ( Christmas Tree )
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine.
Pines are divided into three subgenera, based on cone, seed and leaf characters: Pines have four types of leaf:
• Seed leaves (cotyledons) on seedlings, borne in a whorl of 4–24.
• Juvenile leaves, which follow immediately on seedlings and young plants, 2–6 cm long, single, green or often blue-green, and arranged spirally on the shoot. These are produced for six months to five years, rarely longer.
• Scale leaves, similar to bud scales, small, brown and non-photosynthetic, and arranged spirally like the juvenile leaves.
• Needles, the adult leaves, which are green (photosynthetic), bundled in clusters (fascicles) of 1–6, commonly 2–5, needles together, each fascicle produced from a small bud on a dwarf shoot in the axil of a scale leaf. These bud scales often remain on the fascicle as a basal sheath. The needles persist for 1.5–40 years, depending on species. If a shoot is damaged (e.g. eaten by an animal), the needle fascicles just below the damage will generate a bud which can then replace the lost leaves.
Some species have large seeds, called pine nuts, that are harvested and sold for cooking and baking.
The soft, moist, white inner bark (cambium) found clinging to the woody outer bark is edible and very high in vitamins A and C. It can be eaten raw in slices as a snack or dried and ground up into a powder for use as a thickener in stews, soups, and other foods, such as Finnish pine bark bread (pettuleipä). Adirondack Indians got their name from the Mohawk Indian word atirú:taks, meaning "tree eaters".
A tea made by steeping young, green pine needles in boiling water (known as "tallstrunt" in Sweden) is high in vitamins A and C.

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