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Swiss stone pine wood

The "Pinus cembra", the Swiss stone pine, is also known as the "King of the Alps". This special title already gives an indication of the almost mythical veneration that is given to the domestic pine. These are by no means the only names for Swiss pine: in southern Germany and Austria the terms "Zirbe" and "Zirm" are also common, in Switzerland the melodious variants "Arve" and "Arbe".

Swiss stone pine wood

The Swiss stone pine is part of the pine family and becomes about 25 meters high. Characteristic are the small shoots of the Swiss stone pine, on which there are numerous tufts, each with 5 needles. Its seeds known under the name of "stone pine nuts" are actually not nuts. Furniture manufacturers appreciate Swiss stone pine mainly for its intense scent, which is said to have a beneficial effect on health. For several years there has been a real uproar around Swiss stone pine bedroom furniture. Why is Swiss pine so special? And what properties make Swiss pine a valuable raw material?

The pine tree grows in the high mountains and is found only in three natural areas: in the Alps, the Carpathians and the High Tatras. Their presence is limited to altitudes between about 1300 meters and a maximum of 2900 meters. Most of the trees are located at an altitude of 1500-2000 meters. The old pine trees are mostly isolated, many pine trees are grouped with larches.

I pini cembri raggiungono altezze fino a 25 metri, il diametro all'altezza del petto è di circa 1,7 m. Mentre i singoli alberi spesso crescono storti o con più steli e possono assumere forme bizzarre, i giovani alberi di pino domestico crescono dritti. L'albero sempreverde ha una corteccia grigio-marrone con fessure longitudinali. Gli aghi del pino cembro sono elastici e possono essere lunghi fino a 11 centimetri. Rimangono sull'albero per un massimo di 12 anni. Le pigne, contenenti ciascuna più di 90 semi, cadono dall'albero nella primavera del terzo anno dopo la loro formazione.

The oldest tree in Tyrol is a domestic pine tree that is about 700 years old. It is the natural monument in the Tux Alps that attracts many curious people. Since the domestic pine is considered the strongest tree in the Alps, the high altitudes and the temperatures down to -40°C are not a threat. Even avalanches, wet snow and ozone do not pose any major problems for Swiss stone pine: deer, chamois and roe deer, which feast on domestic pine, are more a problem for young trees as well as the common awl. In fact, it feeds on the seeds of Swiss stone pine, which it finds hidden in summer deposits.

Many of these hideouts can not be found by the common bird, so that the seedlings can grow from about 20% of the seeds.

Use and properties of Swiss pine

Swiss stone pine is a valuable natural material that is much appreciated in various areas used to sculpt popular works. . There are three cribs carved with pine wood in our online store: the South Tyrol Nativity scene in Swiss stone pine, the Fir Tree pine nativity scene and the Rives pine Nativity. All three nativity scenes are made in the traditional rural style and are ideal as classics. Nativity sets.

Saint Maryfrom 64 €
Baby Jesus in Mangerfrom 38 €
Saint Josephfrom 64 €
Holy Familyfrom 165 €
Standing Donkeyfrom 43 €
Lying Oxfrom 43 €
Kneeling Kingfrom 64 €
Standing Kingfrom 64 €

Swiss stone pine is a soft wood that is very easy to carve and work. In addition to huts and Nativity figures bowls are often made of Swiss pine.

In furniture construction, Swiss pine is the material of choice for bedrooms. Also very popular are closets, wall coverings and saunas. It is interesting to note that Swiss pine chips are used in pillows and comforters.

Cones, pine seeds, are considered a delicacy and are used in a similar way to pine nuts. In some regions, grappa and Swiss pine liqueur are produced from pine cones. The intense aroma of Swiss pine can be perfectly preserved in the essential oil of Swiss pine.

The effect of Swiss pine

Zirbenzapfen der ZirbelkieferSwiss pine cone

For centuries people have known the health benefits from stone pine. In the 18th century, Swiss pine extracts were used as medicine by South Tyrolean farmers. Today it is hoped that the use of Swiss pine oil, Swiss pine furniture in bedrooms and the processing of Swiss pine wood shavings in pillows will have a positive effect on health.

Pine pine oil used as a room perfume clears the respiratory tract, is demonstrably improving sleep and is said to have a detoxifying effect. The aroma of Swiss pine is clearly resinous and very intense. Some people take several days to get used to the scent. Swiss pine oil works well in a diffuser. It is important to use only high quality natural oils.

Cirmol wood naturally contains the active ingredient pinosylvine in low concentrations, a substance that has an antibacterial effect and protects against fungal attack. It has not been clearly demonstrated how strong an antibacterial effect is, for example on Swiss pine chopping boards. Swiss pine bedroom furniture appears to have a natural protection against moth infestation and other insect infestation.

The effect of Swiss stone pine has so far only been little demonstrated by scientific studies. However, there are many very positive testimonies from people whose quality of life has significantly improved since they owned Swiss stone pine bedroom furniture. In 2002, a study by the Joanneum Research Society examined the effects of Swiss pine and came up with surprising results: for example, test subjects who slept in a Swiss pine bed during the study had a lower heart rate than usual. The heart of these subjects saved about one hour of "work" per day, which corresponds to about 3500 heartbeats. This also lengthens the recovery phases during sleep and significantly reduces the stress level of the test subjects. An interesting side effect is the decrease in the subjects' sensitivity to changes in atmospheric pressure and humidity. Further studies are needed to be able to consider these effects as reliably proven.

Appearance of Swiss pine

Swiss stone pine not only has a beneficial effect on health, but also a lush appearance and other interesting properties. The heartwood of Swiss stone pine is reddish-brown. Sapwood is yellowish. The clearly recognizable annual rings and traces of red-brown knots in the scales make Swiss stone pine a visually unique wood.

Maserung und Aussehen von Zirbenholz Grain and appearance of Swiss stone pine

The density of pine wood is between 0.37 and 0.56 g / cm³. Soft and light wood shrinks only slightly, the strength properties are considered to be moderately good. Swiss pine is excellent for splitting, carving and easy drying. If you want to treat the surface of the wood, always take into account the high resin content of the wood.

Here is how to take care of the pine tree properly

For those who appreciate stone pine for its healthy properties, they should always use untreated wood in which the essential oils are still completely contained. There is no point in painting objects made of Swiss pine, as the wood loses its breathability with the coating. A shiny effect can easily be achieved with beeswax, oil and a special Swiss pine soap.

To clean a Swiss pine object, always use a soft microfiber cloth that should never drip. Dish detergent ruins the precious surface of the wood.

In case of stains, such as those often formed in Swiss pine bowls, it is advisable to roughen the surface very carefully using fine sandpaper. Pine boards and bowls should not be washed in the dishwasher. If the intense scent of the wood fades over time, it may be useful to put the Swiss pine object in the bathroom or in another room with high humidity for a certain period of time.

Since Swiss stone pine is very soft, small dents are part of the typical appearance of objects and statues made of this special wood.

How much does Swiss pine cost?

Swiss stone pine is healthy, sustainable, attractive and trendy. The fact that wood has been in increasing demand for several years can also be seen from the price: today Swiss stone pine costs almost three times more than 15 years ago. A cubic meter of Swiss pine costs about 300 euros. In comparison, the price for a cubic meter of spruce wood is only about 87 euros.

The relatively high price is also due to the very limited presence of this species. In addition, the tree grows back relatively slowly. It is interesting that it is above all innovative start-ups and family businesses that are convinced of the advantages of Swiss stone pine and take advantage of its characteristics by making furniture.


In summary, it can be said that it has not yet been clearly demonstrated how great the health benefits of Swiss stone pine actually are, despite its great popularity. And for reasons of sustainability and aesthetics, Swiss stone pine is an interesting type of wood that not only fascinates the Val Gardena's carvers.

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