Pinus pinea; Italian Stone Pine trees

Martine & myself recently had some R & R in France during September...one of the best months in respect of the French climate. Some of the time was spent near Plan du la Tour near the Med. coast, http://lepetithotel.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/chasteuil-to-plan-de-la-tour/ and we couldn't help noticing a tree with an attractive green umbrella like top...commonly called the Parasol Pine...its correct name being Pinus pinea. Clearly this was one tree which could survive not only the hot dry Mediterranean seaside environment but also the cold winter winds. For some time now here at Le Petit Hotel, we have been pondering what species of tree we could plant safely in our own Sumner location where the climate varies from hot summer winds, salt laden sea air, and also our cooler winter temperatures. So it has been a surprise, in the last few days to locate a source of these Pinus specimens here in NZ at a nursery in New Plymouth : http://www.conifers.co.nz/ Needless to say, we are looking forward to trying the species in our own unique NZ climate. It's interesting to note that this particular Pine tree is the one that produces the genuine edible pine nut, the tree and its nuts having a history of more than 6000 years.
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