The pine tree: low-input agriculture
The Landes pine forest is currently the largest in Europe, covering an area of 14,000 m².
Planted in the nineteenth century to halt erosion of the coastal dunes and dry out marshy areas and thus make the land suitable for cultivation, this pine forest now drives the economy of this region of the south-west of France.
The forest fulfilled the initial aims but also generated significant wealth for this hitherto poor region, through wood but especially (at the time) the resin extracted from harvesting these pines. This forest is still more than 94 % privately-owned by more than 34,000 people, a large majority of whom are still foresters and whose investments guarantee the sustainability of the forest as a lifeblood and source of income.
Remember that this is a cultivated forest and is therefore replanted after felling as shown in the diagram.
Turpentine and rosin can be extracted by harvesting and distilling resin from the maritime pines. These days, the same products, along with plant-based fatty acids, can be collected from processing downgraded pine timber in kraft pulping factories.
A large variety of pine derivatives can be obtained through industrial processing of these three materials; these are used by ACTION PIN to make products with special properties.