What Do Pine Trees Symbolize? (Hint: Everything We Need More of!)

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Pine trees are evergreen trees with conifers (cones) and resin.  Pines have many uses such as construction, paper, and pinenuts. Pines are habitats and sources of food for animals.  They are often used as Christmas trees. Pine trees also symbolize long life, strength, protection, and peace. The smell of pine is associated with freshness and home. Pinecones protect the seeds of pine trees and are symbols as well.  

What Sort Of Tree is a Pine?

Pine trees are a type of evergreen, a tree that remains green for more than one growing season.

Pine trees are “conifers,” which are “cone-bearing trees and shrubs with needle-like or scale-like leaves.”  They are the source of pinecones and my mom being driven crazy trying to clean up shedding Christmas tree needles.  

Pine trees are “resinous.”  Resin is a sticky substance found in certain trees used for turpentine, salves by the Chinese to treat burns, and by various religions for incense for holy rites.  The word “pine” itself perhaps comes from a word that means “resin.”  

Pine trees usually have thick bark, but there are some “soft pines” as well.  Pine trees are normally very hardy, able to handle a range of tough environmental conditions.  

And, pine trees live a long time.  The oldest, nicknamed, “Methuselah,” is believed to be the oldest living organism on Earth.  It is about 4800 years old!  A lot of birthday candles.  

Uses of Pine Trees 

One popular use for pine trees is as Christmas trees.  Christmas trees have many symbolic meanings.  In fact, there is a whole separate page talking about them! 

Pine trees are also used for lumber, good for various items from furniture to roofing.  Pine is also used to make paper, to produce oil and tar, and many enjoy eating pine nuts.  

Pine is also important for non-human animals, both as a source of food and a place to live.  They are also popular with insects, making pine better for inside-home construction products.  

Pine Trees Are Survivors 

Fighting the elements for millennia, bristlecone pines have been exposed to extremely cold temperatures, dry soils, high winds, and short growing seasons.

The hardy nature of pine trees makes them good symbols for survival and resilience.  

Pine trees could symbolize the promise of a long marriage, including pine trees each year at Christmas. Also, pine tree needles are joined in pairs.  Like two happy spouses.    

Pine trees symbolize long life and immortality.  A tree that can survive for almost five thousand years is about as immortal as human beings might experience outside supernatural beings.  

Pine trees also symbolize rebirth. The Japanese looked upon pines as symbols of the possibility of new beginnings after World War II.    

All of these qualities also make pine trees a symbol of fertility.  Fertility involves producing new life and an important part of marriage.  And, long, healthy lives promise a lot of new life too.  

Pine Trees Symbolize Peace and Protection 

The thick bark of pines and ability to overcome a range of obstacles also symbolizes protection.  

“Brothers! We live upon the same ground with you. The same island is our common birthplace. We desire to sit down under the same tree of peace with you: let us water its roots and cherish its growth, till the large leaves and flourishing branches shall extend to the setting sun, and reach the skies.”

The Iroquois believe pine trees are the “Tree of Peace,” bundles of its needles symbolizing each of the five nations.  This tradition was referenced when the Continental Congress in 1775 asked the Iroquois to be neutral in the new conflict between the colonists and the British.   

In 1988, the Mohawk chief of the Iroquois Grand Council planted a white pine as a symbol of peace.   This “Tree of Peace” is at Fort Stanwix National Monument.  

Pine Trees Symbolize Wisdom

Pine trees in Korea are believed to be honorable, strong, and wise beings.

Wisdom is knowledge that comes from experience.  Wisdom also involves the ability to be strong in the face of adversity, including the popular opinion of the moment.  

Pine trees live a long time and can take anything tossed their way.  Good symbols of wisdom.  

Pine Fresh

The pine tree is familiar and beloved.  So, why not use it for commercial use, too?  

I mean commercial use quite literally, the “pine fresh” of household cleansers is a familiar image.  Pines have a strong scent, one that many deem pleasant.  At least, it can mask other more unpleasant odors. 

Pine trees and their smell are symbols of nature and fresh air.  Pine trees once were associated with sanitariums, including places people went to be treated for tuberculosis. 

Pine smell symbolizes cleanliness, the safety and joys of the home, and well-being.  

What Do Pine Cones Symbolize?

Pine cones keep the seeds of pines safe from the cold and animals.  They are popular symbols of pine trees as well as particularly their association with strength and protection.   

Pine cones have been religious symbols from ancient times. They were used in representations of the Mexican god “Chicomecoatl,” the Egyptian god Osiris, and Ancient Assyrian palace carvings which portray winged creatures holding pinecones.  Not too shabby for a modest seed protector!

The cones were used in ancient purification rites,  Christian ceremonies, and used by the Celts as a fertility charm.  The pinecone was long a symbol of enlightenment and immortality.  

And they’re great for many craft projects!


The word “pine” as a verb is not etymologically (word origin) related to the pine tree.  The word means to desire something strongly and comes from a different source.  

Nonetheless, the scent of pine trees might make you “pine” for home or nature.  Pines symbolize a lot of things.  If you pine to learn about them and other trees, this is the website for you. 

Want to enjoy a pine tree INSIDE your home? Grow your very own pine bonsai! Watch the video for directions.

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