September 17, 2021

Why do pine trees always “shed tears”?

Why do the pine trees around us always shed tears? If you look closely at the surrounding pine trees, you will find that there is often a crystalline, translucent and slightly slimy substance on the pine trees, which looks like tears from the pine trees. Why do pine trees shed tears?

This starts with the pine tree itself. Pine trees have a strong vitality. Due to the influence of climatic conditions or mountain breeze on the general mountains, many plants are not easy to survive. But the pine tree has a very developed root system. The leaves of the pine tree are also needle-shaped, which will not play a role in blocking the wind. There will be pine trees on the top of the mountain or even in the cracks between the rocks. In order to adapt to the surrounding environment, maintain their own health and deal with the surrounding herbivores, pine trees have their own defense system, which is the resin channel.

The resin canal means that there are many small pipe systems inside the leaves, roots, stems, and even seeds of pine trees, which are the intercellular spaces during the growth of the tree. These intercellular spaces criss-cross the pine tree. After the pine tree undergoes photosynthesis, its secretory cells will secrete rosin during metabolism. All rosin is stored in the resin channel. This pine resin begins to be produced when the pine tree germinates and will continue to be produced. Rosin is mainly composed of terpene compounds. It is a colorless and transparent oil in the resin channel. It will gradually volatilize and thicken due to contact with the outside air and water vapor, and finally it is the white or yellow solid appearance we see . That’s why we say that pine resin flows out and condenses on the outer skin of the tree like pine tears.

How does the protection mechanism of pine trees work? Pine resin has a very peculiar smell that will evaporate into the surrounding air. Generally, animals, especially herbivores, don’t like this smell, so it can prevent animals from eating pine trees. Pests are also very destructive small animals for trees. When a borer enters the pine wood, the pine resin flowing out of the pine tree will fill the entire borehole. These worms will die due to suffocation. The pine resin protects the safety of the tree. Not only that, pine resin is also a self-healing tool for pine trees. If the pine tree is damaged due to trauma, the pine resin will flow out in time to tightly wrap the damaged part. Because pine resin itself has the effect of inhibiting the growth of bacteria, the inside of the pine tree is not easy to be attacked by external bacteria. In addition, rosin can also be refined into rosin and turpentine. Now rosin in many places is used by people.

From this we understand that the reason why the pine tree loves “tears” is not because it is not “strong”, but its self-protection mechanism. It is also under this self-protection mechanism that the pine tree can overcome all kinds of The harsh natural environment thrives.

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