People of the southwest, where the pinon ~ pinion ~ pinyon
~ piñon ~ pine (pinus edulis) is native, have found many uses for this hardy tree. Now, no matter where you live, you can get
pinon ~ pinion ~ pinyon ~ piñon ~ pine wood.
Pinon, pinion, pinyon, piñon, pine is the "hardwood" of the softwood family. These woods are usually more plentiful and sometimes more attractive in price. They ignite easily and can heat your fireplace and flue faster. However, they can create more smoke and creosote. Pinyon Pine lights easily and burns with more flame, but for a softwood gives you a good value as the fire lasts longer than other softwoods.
Application & Use
Pinyon Pine is easy to ignite, making it a good choice to mix with a longer-burning wood like Almond.
The pinyon (or piñon) pine group grows in the southwestern United States and in Mexico. The trees yield edible pinyon nuts, which were a staple of the Native Americans, and are still widely eaten. The fragrance of the wood, especially when burned, is unmistakable.
Pinon is a cone-bearing evergreen tree. The scientific name for pinon is "pinus edulis". This tree is found primarily in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. Pinon is pronounced and often spelled "pinyon" or "pinion". These trees were known to the Spanish as pinos pinoneros, or "nut-bearing pine".
Pinon wood is a favorite of most chiminea owners, for it's pleasant "pine aroma", which helps to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects. In the Southwest, piñon is a common fireplace and stove wood. It keeps an active flame, produces good heat, and burns well with other woods.
Mexican Pinon = Pinus cembroides, Singleleaf Pinon = Pinus monophylla, Pinon = Pinus edulis, Parry Pinon = Pinus quadrifolia
All four species are small bushy evergreen trees with short trunk, horizontal branching and rounded crowns. Found in semi-arid regions of the west. Sometimes called Mexican Nut Pine, it is native to both Arizona and New Mexico, where the seeds are harvested and sold as nuts. Once a staple food of southwestern Indians, Pinyon ranks first among the native nut trees of the United States that are not also cultivated. In autumn pine nuts are harvested by local residents for local and gourmet markets. It occurs in mixed or pure stands of woodland in foothills, mesas or canyons, & often on dry, rocky ridges. It does well in cultivation, a wide variety of soil and moisture conditions, is winter-hardy, slow-growing, and very long-lived.
Are 1 to 1/2 inches long, and grow singly on Singleleaf Pinyon, in pairs on Pinyon and Mexican Pinyon, in fours on the Parry Pinyon. Needles have smooth margins, except for Mexican Pinyon which has finely toothed edges.
Cones: 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, irregular roundish shape
Fruit: Large edible seeds; reddish to yellow-brown, oval to globular, 1-3 inches long, scales thick, resinous, seed diversely shaped, 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches long, oily, brown to black.
Height: 20 to 35 feet tall
Elevation: Elevation: 4000 to 9000 feet.
Water Requirements: 12 inches precipitation equivalent, drought-tolerant, will not tolerate high water table. Once established, requires no additional water.
Soils: Dry, rocky, gravelly soils. Adapted to a wide range of soils and moisture conditions.
Uses: Windbreaks, food and cover for man, wildlife food and habitat, especially for squirrels, pinyon jays, bears, & deer. Pinyon pine is suitable for ornamental and recreational plantings. It is useful as a screening element, especially beautiful and ornamental in landscaping.
There are eight species of true pinyons (Pinus subsection Cembroides):
* Pinus cembroides – Mexican Pinyon
* Pinus orizabensis – Orizaba Pinyon
* Pinus johannis – Johann's Pinyon or Border Pinyon (includes P. discolor)
* Pinus culminicola – Potosi Pinyon
* Pinus remota – Texas Pinyon or Papershell Pinyon
* Pinus edulis – Colorado Pinyon or Two-needle Pinyon
* Pinus monophylla – Single-leaf Pinyon
* Pinus quadrifolia – Parry Pinyon (includes P. juarezensis).
These additional Mexican species are also related and mostly called pinyons:
* Pinus rzedowskii – Rzedowski's Pine
* Pinus pinceana – Weeping Pinyon
* Pinus maximartinezii – Big-cone Pinyon
* Pinus nelsonii – Nelson's Pinyon