Pinus eldarica (Afgan Pine, Mondell Pine) is an evergreen tree species native to Afghanistan, Iran, and the Caucasus region. It is a fast-growing pine tree that has been widely cultivated in various parts of the world for its ornamental and timber qualities.
Afghan Pine is a medium to large-sized tree that can reach heights of 40 to 60 feet (12 to 18 meters) with a spread of 20 to 40 feet (6 to 12 meters). It has a conical to rounded crown with dense, dark green foliage. The bark is thick and rough, with a grayish-brown color.
The needles of Afghan Pine are long and slender, measuring around 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters) in length. They are arranged in bundles of two and have a dark green color. The tree produces small, ovoid cones that are about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) long. The cones have thick scales and contain winged seeds.
Afghan Pine is known for its adaptability to a wide range of soil conditions, including sandy, rocky, and alkaline soils. It can tolerate drought and is well-suited for arid and semi-arid regions. It is often used in landscaping projects in areas with hot and dry climates.
In ornamental landscapes, Afghan Pine is valued for its attractive appearance and fast growth rate. Its dense foliage provides year-round greenery, making it suitable as a windbreak, privacy screen, or shade tree. It can also be shaped or pruned to maintain a desired form or size.
The wood of Afghan Pine is moderately hard and durable, making it suitable for various construction purposes. It is used for furniture, cabinetry, paneling, and other woodworking applications. The resin obtained from the tree is used in the production of turpentine and other related products.
Overall, Pinus eldarica, the Afghan Pine or Mondell Pine, is a versatile and resilient tree species known for its adaptability to arid environments and its ornamental and timber qualities. Whether in its native range or in cultivated landscapes, it adds aesthetic value and serves practical purposes as a shade tree or windbreak.