The wood for relaxing and regenerating body and mind
The interior of the Ütia de Börz hut is largely made out of swiss pine (also known as arolla) wood.
Let’s discover the qualities of this Alpine tree.
This evergreen plant is very long-lived and resistant to the harsh temperatures of the Dolomites; it can reach a height of 25 metres and we find it in the upper edge of the forest together with the larches. The leaves are needle-shaped, gathered in clusters of 5 needles, 5 to 8 cm long.
Swiss pine is attributed beneficial properties for the organism, especially antibacterial and regenerative ones, as well as improving the quality of sleep. In addition, the wood regularizes the heartbeat and improves blood circulation. Its aromatic scent is long-lasting and healthy for the respiratory system and mental well-being. It is also an excellent moth repellent.
The wood of the swiss pine is knotty and does not need to be treated. It is used in handicrafts, to make furniture and interior decorations, chopping boards, chests and inlaid holders. It should be worked on the waning moon to prevent the wood from bending, and thus ensure greater durability. The shavings are used as stuffing for pillows and mattresses for a restful sleep.
Some components of the swiss pine, such as its bark or essential oils, are also used in the production of natural cosmetics such as soap. An aromatic schnapps is typically produced using the pinecones and buds.
In the past, swiss pine seeds were very important in people's diets.
The traditional wooden masks (facères) of the Ladin carnival, painted in oil colours, were also made of swiss pine.
An animal that has a symbiosis with the swiss pine is the nutcracker. This species inhabits the arolla woods and feeds on their pine nuts, which it hides in rock crevices for the colder months, also promoting the spread of these trees.