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Author Topic: South of the border  (Read 1672 times)

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Offline Ron Wenrich

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South of the border
« on: March 17, 2010, 08:09:04 PM »
Here's a tree that I've seen on several islands in the Caribbean and on the Caribbean coast in Mexico.



Here's a closer view of the needles:



I have a cone around here someplace.  Just have to find it and snap a picture.

I've asked several natives what kind of tree it is.  I usually get either pine tree or Christmas tree.  This particular tree stands on a beach at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas.   I've also seen one that has survived 2 hurricanes in 1 year.  So, they must be hardy.  I've only seen a handful that would make sawtimber trees.  There are also some at the port in Ft Lauderdale.

I did ask a native in Mexico if he knew anything about these trees.  He said he thought they were imports from Australia.  They were pretty common along shorelines, so that must be how they get disseminated around the Sea.  He also said that Cuba had gotten rid of all non-native species.  I didn't see any in the southern parts of the Caribbean.   
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Offline Tom

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Re: South of the border
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2010, 09:02:50 PM »
I had read about a pine in the Caribbean but had forgotten about it.  Here is a site that describes what I think you found. http://www.conifers.org/pi/pin/caribaea.htm

The Australian import is not a pine and is the same thing that took over south florida, The Australian Pine, which is actually a Casuarina.
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Offline WDH

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Re: South of the border
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2010, 11:32:27 PM »
I was thinking caribbean pine too.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: South of the border
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 07:06:39 PM »
That distribution map looks pretty much like the places I've been when I've seen them.

I saw some Caribbean pine in St Lucia, but it actually looked like a tree.   :D  They planted them on the mountains to help develop some soil.  The soil is very thin.  40 year old wood was only about 12" dbh.  Avg annual rainfall in that spot is about 160".

But, in my other travels I came across these pines.  Again, not a clue.



and the needles look like this:



This one was on St Thomas in front of a church.  The only time I saw these were primarily at houses, so I don't know if they are only used as ornamentals or as forest trees. 
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Offline Tom

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Re: South of the border
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 09:25:58 PM »
Araucaria type species, as in Norfolk Island Pine, has some specimens with leaves like that.  I would guess that this is a relative of the Norfolk Island Pine.  The BWI islands in the Caribbean have had close economic ties with New Zealand for many years.  Our ship on-loaded a store of New Zealand Beef, which we were later told was Sheep meat.   Since Araucariaceae originates in the South Pacific/antartic area, I'll bet this is one of them.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: South of the border
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 11:17:43 PM »
Could be Araucaria columnaris. Cook Pine, native to New Caledonia. But it's very similar to Norfolk Island Pine, it could be one of those.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araucaria

They are a forest tree on their native habitat, but get grown as an ornamental, especially in coastal areas as they are very salt tolerant. They will grow a nice straight tree in a windy spot overlooking the beach where everything else is either killed or leant over into some windblown shape.

Here they are grown as an Ornamental, but they just get so big that they are really only suitable for parks or farms.

As an experiment, see if I can post a link to Google Streetview. This is a BIG Norfolk Island pine that grows beside the main road near Oakura where I grew up. I remember my Grandmother telling us she was three years old when that was planted around 1903.



If the link works, have a look around. Go visit the beach etc.  ;D

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Offline Tom

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Re: South of the border
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 11:55:37 PM »
That was fun, and I did visit the beach.  I followed south road for a pretty good bit, but lost the ability to do the street view.   It is really pretty country.  It looks like a wonderfull placy to take a day-trip on a Motorcycle.  Just enough bends in the road to make it interesting without taking all of your attention and vull of "view".   It looks like cattle country, but I saw no cattle.
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