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Pick of the Pines!

Our Pick: Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco, fam. Pinaceae, Douglas Fir
Oils distilled from the species listed below have all been studied just enough to appear in a few manuals and draw sparse attention from the aromatherapy world. The Douglas Fir has a beautiful aroma and offers an excellent opportunity for ground breaking research. As the forest authorities and preservationists in New Zealand look for ways to reestablish the indigenous flora Douglas Fir will gain more attention from mass media. Ambitious scholars can ride this wave of press and go far beyond publish or perish.
The Pine family, Pinaceae, contains over 200 distinct species and the majority if not all contain some essential oil in the leaves or needles, twigs, cones and wood. Many of these trees and shrubs are not recognized as commercially important. But several are of enormous value into the billions of dollars. Last Thursday the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported in the state of Georgia alone timber was a 15 billion dollar industry. The majority of these funds are derived from pine products.
We in the essential oil industry have enjoyed conifers in various applications. Soaps, fine fragrance, and aromatherapy all use conifer essential oils. Perhaps the most important essential oils from this large and respected family are Scot’s Pine and Siberian Fir.

1. Picea abies (L.) (Picea excelsa Link), fam. Pinaceae, Norway or European Spruce
2. Abies sibirica Ledeb., fam. Pinaceae, Siberian Fir
3. Abies nephrolepsis (Trautr.) Maxim., fam. Pinaceae, Manchurian Fir
4. Picea engelmanni (Parry) Engelm., fam. Pinaceae, White Spruce
5. Picea asperata Mast., fam. Pinaceae, Dragon Spruce
6. Abies faxoniana Rehd. et Wils., fam. Pinaceae, Farges' fir
7. Abies holophylla Maxim., fam. Pinaceae, Needle Fir
8. Tsuga canadensis, fam. Pinaceae, Eastern or Canadian Hemlock
9. Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco, fam. Pinaceae, Douglas Fir