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Pinus oocarpa - Schiede ex Schltdl.

Common Name Oocarpa Pine, Pino amarillo
Family Pinaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Widely distributed on mountain slopes and plains, sometimes forming almost pure stands, but often associated with oaks and sometimes with other pines, occurring at elevations of 1,000 - 2,700 metres[303 ].
Range Central America - Nicaragua to Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Pinus oocarpa Oocarpa Pine, Pino amarillo
Pinus oocarpa Oocarpa Pine, Pino amarillo - MPF


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Pinus oocarpa is an evergreen Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Pinus oocarpoides Lindl. ex Loudon Pinus tecunumani F.Schwerdtf.


Edible Uses

A vanillin flavouring is obtained as a by-product of other resins that are released from the pulpwood[200 ]. The seeds of all Pinus species are more or less edible, and some are of good size and make very tasty and nutritious foods, often eaten in quantitiy. Others can be less desireable, either having a strongly resinous flavour, being bitter or, more commonly, rather too small and fiddly to make it very worthwhle even trying to eat them, We have no specific information of the desireability of this species,


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The turpentine obtained from the resin of all pine trees is antiseptic, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge[4 ]. It is a valuable remedy used internally in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints and is used both internally and as a rub and steam bath in the treatment of rheumatic affections[4 ]. It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and so is useful in treating diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory complaints such as coughs, colds, influenza and TB[4 ]. Applied externally, it is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils etc and is used in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers[4 ].


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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: A pioneer species, it rapidly colonizes exposed sites left bare by fire or erosion[299 ]. The tree is planted to shade out alang-alang (Imperata cylindrica) grass[303 ]. The needles contain a substance called terpene, this is released when rain washes over the needles and it has a negative effect on the germination of some plants, including wheat[201 ]. Other Uses A resin is obtained from the bark[299 , 337 ]. The heartwood is light reddish brown; distinct from the pale yellowish-brown sapwood[316 ]. The lustre is medium; the grain straight; texture somewhat fine and uniform[316 ]. The wood is easy to work with hand and machine tools[316 ]. The wood is less prone to splitting and warping than that of most other pines and therefore highly valued for the production of sawn timber[299 ]. The heartwood is classified as very durable in resistance to attack by white-rot fungus, and moderately durable when exposed to a brown rot[316 ]. The wood does not weather well without the protection of paint or other coatings[316 ]. It is used as a general-purpose timber and for pulp[303 ]. The handsome, very pale, yellowish wood is much used for all kinds of construction, and also for furniture[331 ]. The wood is used for fuel and kindling[337 ]. (It is probably the bark that is used for kindling[K ].) Industrial crop: Hydrocarbon.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming


Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Management: Standard  Regional Timber

A plant of the semi-arid to moist tropics and subtropics, where it occurs at elevations from 350 - 2,500 metres, reaching its best development at elevations between 1,200 - 1,800 metres[303 ]. It grows in areas where the mean annual rainfall can be as low as 600 - 800 mm, in other parts of its native range annual rainfall can exceed 2,500 mm[303 ]. It can tolerate a dry season of up to 5 months[303 ]. Plants are not tolerant of frost. Mature plants require a sunny position, though young plants can tolerate some shade[299 ]. Plants sometimes tolerate shallow soil[303 ]. Most often found in the wild on shallow, sandy clay soils of moderate soil acidity (pH 4.0 - 6.5) that are well drained[337 ]. Plants grow best on deep, well-drained soils and with good rainfall regimes[337 ]. Young seedling plants tend to become bushy shortly after field establishment and remain that way for several years before a dominant terminal leader develops[337 ]. Seedlings will resprout after heavy browsing by deer, and saplings will resprout from the base after either freezes or fires of low intensity[337 ]. Continued interest in P. Oocarpa as a plantation species declined in the early to mid-1980's because provenances of P. Tecunumanii and P. Caribaea var. Hondurensis were found that yielded larger volumes of wood[337 ]. The disadvantages of this species as a plantation crop include its slow initial growth on some sites, poor wind firmness, susceptibility to nutrient deficiencies and needle diseases, and a relatively light crown that permits a continuous weedy understory to develop, increasing the fire danger[337 ]. However, recent problems of stem breakage in P. Tecunumanii have once again stimulated interest in planting more of this plant[337 ]. Growers like its good wood quality, its ability to sprout from cut stumps, and the ease with which it vegetatively propagates[337 ]. An extremely variable species in its native environment because it has evolved under diverse climatic and edaphic patterns over its 3000-km geographic distribution[337 ]. In South-East Asia, plantation-grown trees often do not produce viable seed, due to unsynchronized production of male and female cones[303 ]. This species is a principal host for the dwarf mistletoe Arceuthobium aureum subsp. petersonii in Oaxaca and Chiapas, and is the sole host of A. hondurense in Honduras (Hawksworth and Wiens 1996).

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Materials, chemicals and energy include bioplastics, rubber, biomass products gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, butane, propane, biogas. Plants are usually resprouting plants and saps.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Timber  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally.


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Seeds do not usually require pre-treatment but soaking them for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing can improve the rate and percentage of germination[299 , 337 ]. Seeds from the northernmost part of the plants range may require a period of cold stratification[337 ]. The seeds begin to germinate in 7 - 10 days when sown in moist sand[337 ]. The seedlings usually reach a field planting height of 20 - 25 cm in 5 - 7 months[337 ]. The cones will open quickly when placed in a kiln or tobacco drying barn at 40 to 44°c for 24 hours[337 ]. The seed can withstand kiln temperatures of 50°c for 12 - 18 hours without loss of viability[337 ]. Higher temperatures are not recommended. Because the seeds have thin coats that can be easily split or cracked, great care is needed if dewinging the seed by hand[337 ]. Successful natural regeneration is only possible where a relatively large amount of sunlight reaches the ground[303 ]. Experiments in Indonesia showed that scions of P. Oocarpa grafted onto P. Merkusii grow faster in height than controls of the stock species[303 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Common names include ocote chino, pino amarillo, pino avellano, Mexican yellow pine, egg-cone pine and hazelnut pine, Pino de colorado, pino de ocote, pino prieto,

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Least Concern

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Schiede ex Schltdl.

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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