Pine Trees in Ibiza

It was the Greeks, that named the Balearic Islands “The Pituses”, a term meaning “covered with Pines”. It referred to the large amount of Pine trees that populated the Islands, especially the rocky and mountainous one, called Ibiza. The two most popular pine trees found in Ibiza, are the Carrasco Pine and the, Pinus Pinea, or pine nut tree. The seeds of the Pine nut tree were considered a delicacy by Roman soldiers and are commonly used today as cooking ingredients. Pesto being one of its better known products. The Ibiza pine trees were also responsible for establishing the Matutes name in Ibiza, as Don Pedro Matutes, invested in the quality Ibiza pine that built the ships that made his fortune in 1914. The Ibiza pine trees are also said to be responsible for the red colour of the soil found on the Island. Fallen Pine needles leech tannins into the soil, which help create the red/orange colour but I would tend to agree that it is the high content of Iron that is predominately responsible for the red earth of Ibiza. They also disrupt the nutrient composition of the soil making it difficult to farm efficiently. Pine Needles are also a major fire hazard and their dry clusters are responsible for the many forest fires in the Mediterranean each year. So next time you are in Ibiza and smell that distinct aroma of Pine, it will help you remember, the lasting imprint its trees, have left on the Island.