A tree upwards of 80 ft high and 10 ft in girth of trunk, of conical shape, with somewhat pendulous branches; young shoots yellowish, not downy; winter-buds ovoid, pointed, 3⁄4 in. long, 1⁄2 in. wide; bud-scales reddish brown, free and reflexed at the top, but matted together lower down by a fringe of whitish bristles. Leaves in bundles of three, very slender, minutely toothed, averaging 8 or 9 in. in length (sometimes 12 in.) with two to four lines of stomata on each surface; basal sheath persistent, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long. Cones solitary or several together, more or less deflexed, 5 to 8 in. long, 3 in. wide, the exposed part of the scales of rhomboid outline and pyramidal shape, altogether resembling those of P. pinaster. Seeds with a wing over 1 in. long. The leaves remain on the shoots for two seasons.
Native of the Canary Islands and once very plentiful there, but now becoming restricted to the higher altitudes and less accessible places. It is most abundant on Tenerife and Grand Canary. At one time the islands contained many giant trees, most of which have been felled.
This pine is only hardy in our mildest localities. The largest of the very few examples is at Tresco Abbey in the Isles of Scilly, and measures 85 × 71⁄2 ft (1970). A tree at Mount Usher, Co. Wicklow, Eire, is 39 × 21⁄2 ft (1966). It makes a fine tree on the Riviera, where it succeeds on calcareous soil, and is grown in other parts of the world with a warm temperate climate, both as an ornamental and for its timber, which is exceedingly durable and ranks with the best types of pinewood.
P. roxburghii Sarg. P. longifolia Roxb. ex Lamb., not Salisb. Chir Pine. – This is one of the finest of Indian pines. It is described as attaining 150 to 180 ft in height and a trunk-girth of 20 to 35 ft. The winter-buds are ovoid, not resinous; the leaves in threes, 8 in. to over 12 in. long. Cones elongated, ovoid, 5 to 8 in. long, 21⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. wide. It is the chief resin-producing pine of India. Tender, although capable of being grown in Cornish gardens.