Pine resin tapping in Tunisia

Resin tapping technique (Forest center of Sidi Bader - Tabarka)
Type of data: 
Good practice
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Resin is a natural product that has multiple applications and is highly demanded in the chemical industry. As a non-timber forest product, exploitation of the abundant pine resin in Tunisian forests (50% of the forest area) can contribute to a bioeconomy and can generate additional income for forest populations.


The valuation of pine species and their derivatives can contribute to the economic development and a gain in foreign exchange. In this context, the present study was conducted in order to:
Explore the knowledge and best practices of tapping techniques to get the best performance,
Evaluate the biological performance of the gemstone by studying the antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of the three pine species.

For the evaluation of the biological activity of pine resin, it is necessary to resort to appropriate biological tests based on antibacterial activity and antioxidant activity.

Main results: 

This evaluation was performed using a screwdriver with a hole saw to obtain a perfect round wound with the diameter of the elbow. To extend the duration and the quantity of flow, we use a special acid-based product in gel form. This activated gemming technique allowed a high yield against acid-free. The most important value is recorded at the level of the southern exposure.

The antioxidant activity of the resin has been tested in vitro by the DPPH test. The most powerful free radical scavenger is recorded in the pine nuts, while the lowest activity is in the Aleppo pine. The antibacterial activity of gems shows that the pine nuts is the most effective with an average diameter of inhibition (2.38 cm) against maritime pine (1.68 cm).

Main practical recommendations: 

The pine forest of Aleppo offers a set of socio-economic benefits to the local populations, estimated at about 220,000 inhabitants in the four governorates concerned (Zaghouan, Siliana, Kef and Kasserine)(DGF,2016).

 For that, it is necessary to think about the establishment of an effective strategy aiming to improve the income through better exploitation and valorization of the forest resources and reduction of the degradation of the forest using a multi-stakeholder management approach. Resin extraction can be a solution to this forest failure.

Impacts and weaknesses: 

Resin is a natural product that has multiple applications and is highly demanded in the chemical industry. The resin was also exploited before the 1980s, the production was estimated between 1.5 kg and 1.8 kg of gem per tree per year (Dahmane, 1986) Currently, The main weakness in Tunisian forest sector is the lack of knowledge and appreciation of the importance of resin tapping; moreover the knowledge of resin extraction is very limited or even non-existent with outdated published studies. The extraction of the resin from Pine is an unexploited commercial opportunity.

Future developments: 

It is necessary to finish and follow these works and these results by other studies aiming at developing the knowledge and the best practices of tapping techniques in order to raise the best performances. We propose to offer a platform of resin-tapping method training services to people living in rural areas in order to give them income sources towards sustainable resin extraction and giving value to the natural Tunisian forests.


Further information

Dahmane M. 1986. Les produits du pin d'Alep en Tunisie. Options Méditerranéennes, 157- 161.

DGF,2016 .Direction Générale des Forêts.  Atlas cartographie des  terres forestières et pastorales de la Tunisie. Rome, Italy.

Figure 1 credit: 

Bilel Hmaidi and Emna Ben Salem 

Figure 2: 
Resin extraction (Forest center of Sidi Bader - Tabarka )
Figure 2 caption and credit: 

Bilel Hmaidi and Emna Ben Salem