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Pinus ponderosa

Common Name:
Western Yellow Pine
Family: Pinaceae 

Collection Number:
Entry Author: K. Rice
Description: Sraight; crown broadly conic to rounded.
Needles: 7 inches long and yellow green to gray-green in color.
Cones: 3 to 6 inches long, diamond shaped scales that are reddish brown to dull brownish yellow.
Bark: Brown to black with scaly plates separated by deep irregular fissures.
Branching Pattern: Branches descending to spreading-ascending.
Height: 150 -180 feet
Life Span: Over 500 years old are seldom encountered.
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest:
Canada: S British Columbia, E to US: SW North Dakota, S to trans-Pecos Texas and W to S California; also in Mexico: Baja & Sonora. Mostly in the mountains, in pure stands or mixed conifer forests.
Ecological Interactions: Destructive agents are bark beetles, dwarf mistletoe, and fungi. The most widely distributed and common pine in North America. Quail, squirrels and many other kinds of wildlife consume the seeds, and nutcrackers and chipmunks cache them, thereby helping to bring forth new pines.
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Low risk of becoming endangered.
Uses (Human): Furnishes more timber than any other pine. 


Harlow, W., Harrar, E.S., White, F.  (1979).  Textbook of Dendrology.  New York:  Mcgraw Hill.

Gymnosperm Database, University of Bonn.

This page was created by: K. Rice, Muhlenberg College, and J. Chichester, Northampton Community College
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Last Update 03/15/05