The Pine Nut Tree is often called the 'Stone Pine'. This name supposedly comes from the idea that this tree grows well in stony ground. It is an attractive large pine tree that bears cones of edible nuts that are considered a delicacy.
The Pine Nut Tree grows best in dry cold areas. Trees can be expected to start producing cones from about year 6, but one planting in New Zealand produced its first cones after 3 1/2 years. Each cone holds about 50 nuts - 100 kg of cones holds about 20 kg of nuts.
The kernels can be eaten raw, roasted or prepared into sweet meats, cakes, puddings, stuffings, soups and of course, the most popular usage is in the Italian gourmet pesto. It is the source of a high quality expensive oil that is made mostly in France