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Pinus gerardiana – Wikipedia

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– Trees are 15–25 meters tall with deep, wide, and open crowns.
– Bark is flaky, peeling to reveal light greyish-green patches.
– Leaves are needle-like, glossy green on the outer surface.
– Cones are 10–18 centimeters long and 9–11 centimeters wide when open.
– Seeds (pine nuts) are 17–23 millimeters long and 5–7 millimeters broad.

Similar species:
– Pinus gerardiana has denser, longer, and more slender needles than Pinus bungeana.
– Pinus gerardiana cones are larger than Pinus bungeana.

– Scientific name commemorates Captain Patrick Gerard.
– Named after a British army officer who collected it during a military survey in India.
– First published in A.B. Lambert, Descr. Pinus, ed. 3, 2: 144 bis in 1832.

Distribution and habitat:
– Native to Afghanistan, Tibet in China, Jammu-Kashmir in India, and Pakistan.
– Grows at high, mountainous altitudes among open vegetation on dry, sunny slopes.

– Listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2011.
– Forests have declined by an estimated 30% due to various human activities.
– Artificial regeneration efforts have shown poor seedling performance.

– Seeds are dispersed by birds due to the lack of wings for wind dispersal.
– Eurasian nutcracker is one species that helps in seed dispersal.
– Serves as a secondary host for Himalayan dwarf mistletoe.

– Older trees not producing enough cones are used for firewood.
Wood is utilized for local light construction and carpentry.
– Chilghoza seeds (pine nuts) are harvested for consumption in autumn and early winter.
– Seeds are rich in carbohydrates and proteins.
– Chilgoza pine nuts are an important cash crop in Afghanistan and certain regions of India.

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