Stone pine is a plant belonging to the pine family. It is native to the Central Alps and it grows at altitudes of between 1,400 and approx. 2,500 metres above sea level. As a protective tree, timber tree and a climate indicator, the stone pine plays an increasingly important role for sustainability in times of climate change.
The growth of the stone pine is strongly influenced by the weather conditions. Old trees are often windswept and deformed by lightning strikes and snow damage. The height varies, depending on the location, but the trees can normally grow to a height of about 25 metres. A typical stone pine tree normally reaches an average age of 200 – 400 years, although they can grow to be 1000 years old.
Its cones and seeds are used in food production and for the production of spirits such as stone pine liqueur.
Sustainable harvesting of this valuable tree species doesn’t spell that extinction of this source of wood. On the contrary! The proper use of stone pine can serve to rejuvenate old growth, which is actually beneficial and desirable from a conservational point of view, because a mixture of young and old woodland with thicker and thinner trees is more stable and better able to withstand the forces of nature. The correct mixing ratio in a stone pine forest protects the valley below from the consequences of extreme events such as avalanches, rockfalls or erosion. And it has also been proven statistically that more grows back than is used.