Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Oocarpa pine, egg-cone pine, Ocote pine.

+ Tree Species

Pinus oocarpa

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Oocarpa pine is native to Mexico and Central America. It has been introduced into tropical and subtropical regions in Africa, Asia and South America, especially in Brazil. In Africa it is grown in countries along the western coast, from Sierra Leone to Angola, in East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania), in southern Africa (Malawi, Zambia, South Africa) and in Madagascar. Pinus oocarpa prefers light- to medium textured, neutral to acid soils (optimum pH 5 6) which are well drained, but it tolerates shallow soils and grows in a wide range of soil types. In Kampala, this pine can be found within Uganda Golf course club among other places.

+ Description

Oocarpa pine is an evergreen, monoecious, coniferous tree with a wide and open crown, and long, flexible branches, curved upward. It grows from 20 - 35 meters tall with a usually straight and cylindrical bole that can be unbranched for 15 meters or more. It can attain a diameter of up to 80–125 cm.

BARK: 2–4 cm thick, bark surface grey to red brown, rough and scaly, crown wide, open, branches long, flexible, curved upwards.

LEAVES: clustered at the end of shoots, needle-shaped, 7–30 cm long, stiff, tips sharply pointed, bluish or pale green. Male cone cylindrical, in dense clusters. 

FLOWERS: male and female flowers produced separately on the same tree. Male flowers on the upper part of branchlets, female on the lower part.

FRUIT: mature female cone often in groups of 2–3, on a peduncle 3–4 cm long, ovoid to ovoid-conical, pendulous, yellowish brown, with hard scales warty and pointed at apex. Seeds 4–7 mm long, dark brown, with a wing 10–12 mm long. 

+ Uses

Edible: vanillin flavoring is obtained as a by-product of other resins that are released from the pulpwood. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Pinus+oocarpa

Medicine: turpentine obtained from the resin. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Pinus+oocarpa

Agroforestry: planted to shade out Imperata cylindrica grass.

A resin is obtained from the bark.

The wood is used as a general-purpose timber and for pulp.

The wood is used for fuel and kindling.

An ornamental tree.

+ Propagation


+ Management

Pinus oocarpa is a fast-growing pine species yielding wood of good quality, compared to that of other pines. It re-sprouts easily from stumps after felling or damage. Trees are usually pruned and thinned several times, depending on production aims.

+ Remarks

The wood (trade names: Caribbean pitch pine, Nicaraguan pitch pine) is less prone to splitting and warping than that of most other pines and therefore highly valued for the production of sawn timber. Trees are susceptible to fire when young, but become more resistant with age. Pinus oocarpa is light-demanding, but young trees tolerate some shade. It rapidly colonizes exposed sites left bare by fire or erosion.

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