The Aleppo pine (Pinus Halepensis) used to produce retsina is endemic to the Mediterranean region (Morocco, Libya, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel). It is a tree resistant to drought and is usually found in warm and calcareous soils and low altitudes, without this excluding the possibility of growth up to 1,700 meters. In Greece, it is found in the Peloponnese, the Ionian Islands, Central Greece, Evia, the Sporades and Halkidiki.
Resin is a hydrocarbon secretion of coniferous trees. The most important products of pine resin are turpentine oil and rosin, which are used for various purposes in industry.
The extraction of the resin (resin tapping) is done from productive trees by cutting and debarking with an ax the trunk of a mature pine tree. Chipping or debarking (in which a tree’s bark is removed without injuring the entire tree) usually begins at the base of the tree and proceeds to the highest possible height that the resin worker can reach.
Resin tapping is usually done every ten to 15 days between April and October. Resin collectors usually open wounds 11-12 cm wide. The resin is collected in containers fixed to the trunk of the tree.