Pinus oocarpa (ocote pine)
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Pinus oocarpa Schiede ex Schltdl.
Preferred Common Name
- ocote pine
- Pinus oocarpa var. manzanoi Martinez
- Pinus oocarpa var. microphylla Shaw
- Pinus oocarpa var. ochoterenai Martinez
- Pinus oocarpa var. oocarpa
- Pinus oocarpa var. trifoliata Martinez
Other Scientific Names
- Pinus praetermissa
International Common Names
- English: Nicaraguan pitch pine; oocarpa pine
- Spanish: pino prieto
- PIUOO (Pinus oocarpa)
- PIUPZ (Pinus praetermissa)
- Caribbean pitch pine
- Nicaraguan pitch pine
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Gymnospermae
- Class: Pinopsida
- Family: Pinaceae
- Genus: Pinus
- Species: Pinus oocarpa
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page The genus Pinus (family Pinaceae) contains 93 species (Mabberley, 1997). P. oocarpa belongs to Pinus section Diploxylon, characterized by hard timber and 2 xylem bundles. In addition to the type variety of P. oocarpa, four other varieties are recognized: var. ochoterenai, var. trifoliata, var. microphylla and var. manzanoi. P. oocarpa var. ochoterenai is believed by some to be the same as Pinus patula var. longepedunculata. However, Perry (1991) states the differences between the two species (P. oocarpa and P. patula) are even recognisable in the field. The cones and needles of the two differ in that var. longepedunculata has slender distinctly pendant needles and var. ochoterenai has erect, often drooping, slender needles that are not pendant. Var. ochoterenai has cones that are 5-6 cm wide and asymmetrical while var. longepedunculata has cones 2-5 cm long that are more symmetrical. Var. ochoterenai and var. longepedunculata have been crossed by the Institute of Forest Genetics in Placerville, California, and it is possible that these two varieties cross in nature, hence the possible confusion between them.
Var. trifoliata has leaves in fascicles of 3; its cones are small and almost spherical and can readily be distinguished from other varieties of P. oocarpa. The distribution of this variety is limited to Jalisco and Durango states in Mexico.
Var. microphylla has much shorter needles than the other oocarpa varieties, 8-16 cm compared with 20-25 cm in the other varieties. The peduncle is long and slender and significantly different from the other varieties (Perry, 1991).
DescriptionTop of page General
The tree is a medium to large pine, from 15 to about 37 m high. The stem normally reaches 50-70 cm and occasionally 90 cm in diameter. The lower branches are more horizontal while the top ones are more ascending, forming a thick, rounded crown. The bark is 2-4 cm thick and is a dark greyish brown colour when the tree is older and mature. The bark also has shallow vertical and horizontal fissures, which gives the bark rough, longitudinal, geometric shaped plates. Young trees also have a rough, but thin and reddish brown bark. Branchlets are stiff, upright, rough and scaly. The bark of branchlets is reddish brown and the bases of the leaf bracts are decurrent.
The leaves of the tree are in fascicles of 5 and occasionally 3 or 4. Needles are usually 20 to 25 cm long, thick and stiff and are occasionally slender and flexible. The margins are finely serrated and the stomata are present on the dorsal and ventral surfaces. There are 4-8 resin canals, which are mostly septal. The exterior wall of the endoderm is not thickened. Two contiguous but distinct fibrovascular bundles are present. Fascicle sheaths are brown and approximately 25 mm long.
Inflorescences, flowers and fruits
Conelets are subterminal, borne singly and in pairs on long, 2-3 cm, scaly peduncles. The cone scales are small and thick and rounded with a very deciduous prickle. The cones are very variable in form and size, ranging from globose (almost round) to ovoid and somewhat conical. Cones taper off to the apex in general and are mostly symmetrical, and oblique and reflexed on 3-4 cm long strong penduncles. The peduncles can be slender and weak in some forms, though short, thick, and very tenacious in others. Cones are between 6-10 cm long and pale yellowish brown to polished ochre in colour.
The cones ripen from January to November and can be closed for very long periods only to release seeds during long dry periods. The cones are persistent for long periods on the branches and when they do fall off the peduncles remain attached to the cone. Cone scales are hard, strong, stiff, and the apophysis is almost flat with a well-defined transverse keel.
In Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador the apophysis may be raised to a pyramidal with a small, recurved umbo. In most cases the umbo is small and almost flat to depressed, with a very small, early-deciduous prickle. When the scales are open they form a wide open symmetrical rosette pattern which contrasts with the cones of P. patula or P. pringlei (Perry, 1991).
Seeds of P. oocarpa are small, dark brown and 4-7 mm long. The wings are 10 to 12 mm long, articulated and thickened at the base where it joins the seed. Cotyledons are 5 to 7, usually 6. About 120,000 seeds weigh a kilogramme.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Planted||Reference||Notes|
|Angola||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Cameroon||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Congo, Republic of the||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Ethiopia||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Kenya||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Liberia||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Madagascar||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Malawi||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Sierra Leone||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|South Africa||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Tanzania||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Uganda||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Zambia||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Bangladesh||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|India||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Indonesia||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|-Java||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Malaysia||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|-Peninsular Malaysia||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Nepal||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Philippines||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Sri Lanka||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Thailand||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Vietnam||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Belize||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Costa Rica||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Cuba||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|El Salvador||Present||CABI (Undated a)|
|Guatemala||Present||CABI (Undated a)|
|Honduras||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Jamaica||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Mexico||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Nicaragua||Present||CABI (Undated a)|
|Puerto Rico||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Australia||Present||CABI (Undated)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Northern Territory||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|-Queensland||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Fiji||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Solomon Islands||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Vanuatu||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Argentina||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Brazil||Present||Braga et al. (2014)|
|-Minas Gerais||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|-Sao Paulo||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Colombia||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Ecuador||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|French Guiana||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Guyana||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Peru||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
|Venezuela||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated a)|
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||0|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||13||27|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||21||34|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||7||20|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||0||6||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||700||3000||mm; lower/upper limits|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page Bimodal
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Special soil tolerances
Uses ListTop of page
- Erosion control or dune stabilization
- Soil improvement
Wood ProductsTop of page
- Long-fibre pulp
Sawn or hewn building timbers
- Carpentry/joinery (exterior/interior)
- For heavy construction
- For light construction
ReferencesTop of page
Billings RF; Schmidtke PJ, 2002. Central America southern pine beetle/fire management assessment. Report submitted to U.S. Agency for International Development under a technical services agreement with USDA Foreign Agriculture Service/International Cooperation and Development, 41 pp.
Birks JS; Barnes RD, 1990. Provenance variation in Pinus caribaea, P. oocarpa and P. patula ssp. tecunumanii. Tropical Forestry Papers, No. 21. Oxford Forestry Institute, University of Oxford. vii + 40 pp.; 56 ref.
Booth TH; Jovanovic T, 2000. Improving descriptions of climatic requirements in the CABI Forestry Compendium. A report for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. CSIRO - Forestry and Forest Products, Client Report No. 758.
Braga EP; Zenni RD; Hay JD, 2014. A new invasive species in South America: Pinus oocarpa Schiede ex Schltdl. BioInvasions Records, 3(3):207-211. http://www.reabic.net/journals/bir/2014/3/BIR_2014_Braga_etal.pdf
Cibrián Tovar D; Tulio Mendez Montiel J; Campos Bolanos R; Yates HO; Flores Lara J, 1985. Insectos forestales de Mexico/Forest Insects of Mexico. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, North American Forestry Commission. [In English and Spanish].
Dvorak WS; Potter KM; Hipkins VD; Hodge GR, 2009. Genetic diversity and gene exchange in Pinus oocarpa, a Mesoamerican pine with resistance to the pitch canker fungus (Fusarium circinatum). International Journal of Plant Sciences, 170(5):609-626. http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/597780
Greaves A, 1978. Descriptions of seed sources and collections of provenances of Pinus oocarpa. Tropical Forestry Papers, Commonwealth Forestry Institute, University of Oxford, No. 13, iv + 144 pp.; 8 pl.; 35 ref.
Greaves A, 1980. Review of the Pinus caribaea Mor. and Pinus oocarpa Schiede international provenance trials, 1978. Occasional Paper, Commonwealth Forestry Institute, University of Oxford, No. 12, v + 89 pp.; 10 pp. ref.
Greaves A, 1981. A bibliography on Pinus oocarpa covering the literature from 1920 to 1980. 23 pp.; 263 ref.
Greaves A, 1981. Progress in the Pinus caribaea Morelet and Pinus oocarpa Schiede international provenance trials. Commonwealth Forestry Review, 60(1):35-43; See FA 41, 6524; 14 ref.
Greaves A; Kemp RH; Diabate K; Egenti LC; Granhof JJ; Kageyama PY; Ferreira M; Bertolani F; Nicolielo N; Kaumi SYS; Rakotomanampison A; Wyk G van; Vivekanandan K; Ojo GOA, 1978. Progress and problems of genetic improvement of tropical forest trees. In: Nikles DG, Burley J, Barnes RD, eds, Proceedings of a joint workshop, IUFRO working parties S2.02-08 and S2.03-01, Brisbane, 1977. V. Provenance trials and breeding programmes. B. Pinus oocarpa Schiede. 552-668.
Harahap RMS, 1992. Pinus oocarpa and Pinus caribaea development for industrial forest plantations. [Pengembangan Pinus oocarpa Schiede dan P. caribaea Morelet untuk hutan tanaman industri.] Buletin Penelitian Hutan, No. 547, 33-44; With English tables; 21 ref.
Hawksworth FG; Wiens D, 1996. Dwarf Mistletoes: Biology, Pathology, and Systematics. Agriculture Handbook 709. Washington DC, USA: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Hernandez Paz M, 1975. El gorjojo de la corteza, plaga principal de los pinares. Publ. 1. Corporación Hondureña de Desarrollo Forestal. 13 pp.
Keeley JE; Zedler PH, 1998. Evolution of life histories in Pinus. In: Richardson, D.M. (editor), Ecology and biogeography of Pinus. Cambridge University Press, pp. 219-250.
Ketcham DE; Bennett WH, 1964. Epidemics of pine bark beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimm., in Honduras. Final Report USDA Forest Service unpublished manuscript. 7 pp.
Kromhout CP; Toon RE, 1978. Variation of wood properties of some tropical species grown in plantations in Southern Africa. In: Nikles DG, Burley J, Barnes RD, eds, Progress and problems of genetic improvement of tropical forest trees. Proceedings of a joint workshop, IUFRO working parties S2.02-08 and S2.03-01, Brisbane, 1977. I. Wood quality of tropical species in relation to provenance and tree breeding, 8-45; 18 ref.
Kromhout N, 1978. Potential of fast-grown tropical pines for uses other than pulp and paper in Southern Africa. In: Nikles DG, Burley J, Barnes RD, eds, Progress and problems of genetic improvement of tropical forest trees. Proceedings of a joint workshop, IUFRO working parties S2.02-08 and S2.03-01, Brisbane, 1977. II. Pulp, paper and timber properties of plantation-grown tropical pines, 162-166.
Nikles DG; Burley J; Barnes RD; eds, 1978. Progress and problems of genetic improvement of tropical forest trees. Proceedings of a joint workshop, IUFRO working parties S2.02-08 and S2.03-01, Brisbane, 1977. V. Provenance trials and breeding programmes. G. Other softwood species. 1978, 808 873.
Poynton RJ, 1977. Report to the Southern African Regional Commission for the Conservation and Utilisation of the Soil (SARCCUS) on Tree planting in southern Africa, Vol. 1, The Pines. Department of Forestry, Republic of South Africa.
Sáenz-Romero C; Guzmán-Reyna RR; Rehfeldt GE, 2006. Altitudinal genetic variation among Pinus oocarpa populations in Michoacán, Mexico: implications for seed zoning, conservation, tree breeding and global warming. Forest Ecology and Management, 229(1/3):340-350.
Schutt P; Schuck HJ; Aas G; Lang UM; eds, 1994. Encyclopaedia of woody plants: manual and atlas of dendrology. [Enzyklopädie der Holzgewächse: Handbuch und Atlas der Dendrologie]. Landsberg am Lech, Germany: Ecomed Verlagsgesellschaft.
Soerianegara I; Lemmens RHMJ, eds. , 1993. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(1). Timber trees: major commercial timbers. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers. Also published by PROSEA Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. pp. 610.
Solberg KH, 1978. A nursery experiment with shading and potting soils. Pinus caribaea and P. oocarpa. Tanzania. EAC NORAD Lowland Afforestation Project, 1973 1975, Technical report No.5, 15 pp.
Solberg KH, 1978. Direct sowing contra transplanting in the nursery. Pinus caribaea and P. oocarpa. Tanzania. Lysholm, G.-Project-leader:-EAC-NORAD-Lowland-Afforestation-Project,-1973-1975, Technical Report No. 7, 8 pp.
Solberg KH, 1978. Miscellaneous nursery experiments. Pinus caribaea and P. oocarpa, Tanzania. Lysholm, G.-Project-leader:-EAC-NORAD-Lowland-Afforestation-Project,-1973-1975, Technical Report No. 8, 33 pp.; 2 ref.
Solberg KH, 1978. Nursery experiments with various potting soils. Pinus caribaea, Pinus oocarpa and Eucalyptus microcorys. Tanzania. EAC NORAD Lowland Afforestation Project, 1973 1975, Technical report No.3, 28 pp, 8 ref.
Solberg KH, 1978. Three nursery experiments with fertilization and potting soils. Pinus caribaea and P. oocarpa. Tanzania. EAC NORAD Lowland Afforestation Project, 1973 1975, Technical report No.4, 53 pp, 3 ref.
Solberg KH, 1978. Tube size and plant age. Nursery and field experiment. Pinus caribaea and Pinus oocarpa. Tanzania. Lysholm, G.-Project-leader:-EAC-NORAD-Lowland-Afforestation-Project,-1973-1975, Technical Report No. 10, 34 pp.
Solberg KH; Lysholm G, 1978. Miscellaneous nursery experiments with Pinus caribaea and Pinus oocarpa in Gede nursery, Kenya. Lysholm, G.-Project-leader:-EAC-NORAD-Lowland-Afforestation-Project,-1973-1975, Technical Report No. 1, 55 pp.; 5 ref.
Tampubolon AP; Harahap RMS, 1992. A silvicultural system for Pinus oocarpa and comparison of its performance with Pinus merkusii. [Sistem silvikultur Pinus oocarpa dan perbandingan penampilannya dengan Pinus merkusii.] Buletin Penelitian Hutan, No. 553, 9-22; With English tables; 22 ref.
Webb DB; Wood PJ; Smith JP; Henman GS, 1984. A guide to species selection for tropical and sub-tropical plantations. Tropical Forestry Papers, No. 15. Oxford, UK: Commonwealth Forestry Institute, University of Oxford.
Wright JA; Gibson GL; Barnes RD, 1987. Provenance variation in stem volume and wood density of Pinus oocarpa and P. patula ssp. tecunumanii growing at two elevations in South Africa. South African Forestry Journal, No. 143, 46-48; 10 ref.
Braga E P, Zenni R D, Hay J D, 2014. A new invasive species in South America: Pinus oocarpa Schiede ex Schltdl. BioInvasions Records. 3 (3), 207-211. http://www.reabic.net/journals/bir/2014/3/BIR_2014_Braga_etal.pdf DOI:10.3391/bir.2014.3.3.12
CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Distribution MapsTop of page
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