Northwest Conifers

East Side Conifers

These conifers grow from the Cascade crest to other mountains on the east side of Oregon and Washington.

Common species

Ponderosa PinePonderosa Pine
  – Pinus ponderosa

Needles: Bundles of 3, 5-10" long

Cones: 3-6" long, egg shaped

Bark: Orange puzzle pieces

Where: Rare west of the Cascades. Common east of the Cascades to 5000 ft.


Western JuniperWestern Juniper
 – Juniperus occidentalis

Leaves: Scaled, groups of 3, some awl-like

Cones: Bluish berries

Bark: Brown, becoming gray, flaky

Where: Dry areas east of the Cascades


Douglas firDouglas Fir
 – Pseudotsuga menziesii

Needles: 1" long, thin, soft points, all around twig

Cones: 3-4" long, 3-pointed bracts

Bark: Brown, deep furrows on large trunks

Where: Below 5000 ft.


Grand FirGrand Fir
  – Abies grandis

Needles:  1-2" long, flat & flattened on twig, white lines below

Cones: 3-4" long, upright at tree top, purple

Bark: Smooth, gray, small furrows on large trunks

Where: Below 5000 ft.


Lodgepole PineLodgepole Pine
  – Pinus contorta

Needles: Bundles of 2, 1-3" long

Cones: 2" long, egg shaped

Bark: Dark gray, scaly

Where: Near coast and above 3000 ft. in the Cascades


Incense CedarIncense Cedar
 – Calocedrus decurrens

Needles: Long, flat scales

Cones: 1" long, shaped like a duck's bill

Bark: Brown, deep furrows

Where: Dry areas of Cascades


Western larchWestern Larch
 – Larix occidentalis

Needles: Bundles of 25, 1-2" long

Cones: 1-2" long, whiskery bracts

Bark: Flaky scales, furrowed

Where: East of the Cascade crest, up to 6000 ft.


Engelmann spruceEngelmann Spruce
 – Picea engelmannii

Needles: Sharp, thin, 4-sided, all around twig

Cones: 3" long with paper-thin scales

Bark: Dark gray scales

Where: Cascades and Mts. to the east, 3000-6000 ft.


Western White PineWestern White Pine
 – Pinus monticola

Needles: Bundles of 5, 2-4" long

Cones: 6-10" long, curved

Bark: Dark gray scaly plates

Where: 2000-5000 ft.


Sugar PineSugar Pine
 – Pinus lambertiana

Needles: Bundles of 5, 2-4" long

Cones: Large, 10-20" long

Bark: Gray-brown with furrows

Where: Above 1000 ft. south of the 45th parallel


High elevation species

These conifers grow near the timberline.

Noble FirNoble Fir – Abies procera

Needles: Bent like hockey sticks

Cones: 4-6" long, upright at tree top, whiskery bracts

Bark: Gray-brown, becoming furrowed

Where: Above 2000 ft. in western Oregon and Washington


Pacific Silver FirPacific Silver Fir
 – Abies amabilis

Needles: Point up & forward, white lines below

Cones: 3-6" long, upright at treetop

Bark: Smooth, gray scaly plates

Where: Above 3000 ft. in western Oregon and Washington


Alaska CedarAlaska Cedar
 – Callitropsis nootkatensis

Needles: Flat, scaled, prickly

Cones: Round, 3/8"

Bark: Gray-brown, shreddy strips

Where: Above 3000 ft.


Mountain HemlockMountain Hemlock
 – Tsuga mertensiana

Needles: Short, flat, spread in all

Cones: 2" long, rounded scales

Bark: Gray, small deep furrows

Where: 4000 ft. to the timberline

Has drooping top.


Subalpine FirSubalpine Fir
 – Abies lasiocarpa

Needles: Curved upward, white lines above & below

Cones: 2-4" long, upright at tree top, purple

Bark: Smooth, gray

Where: 4000 ft. to the timberline


Whitebark PineWhitebark Pine
 – Pinus albicaulis

Needles: Bundles of 5, 1-3" long

Cones: 2-3" long, closed when mature

Bark: Light gray, scaly

Where: At the timberline


Rare species

These conifers are rare east of the Cascade crest.

Western HemlockWestern Hemlock
–Tsuga heterophylla

Needles: Short, flat, irregular, white lines below

Cones: 3/4" long, rounded scales

Bark: Gray, small furrows

Where: Below 4000 ft. in western Oregon and Washington


Western Red CedarWestern Red Cedar
– Thuja plicata

Leaves: Flat, scaled, white butterflies below

Cones: 1/2" long, rose-shaped

Bark: Brown, stringy

Where: Wet areas below 5000 ft.


Pacific YewPacific Yew – Taxus brevifolia

Needles: Flat, flattened on twig, lighter green underneath

Fruit: Red berry-like aril

Bark: Thin gray scales over smooth red bark

Where: Wet shady areas below 5000 ft.


Common JuniperCommon Juniper
 – Juniperus communis

Needles:  Awl shaped, under 1"

Cones:  Berry-like, 0.3"

Bark: Brown

Where: Alpine areas, growing as a low spreading shrub.


Limber PineLimber Pine
 – Pinus flexilis

Needles: Bundles of 5, 2-3" long

Cones: 3-7" long, open when mature

Bark: Light gray, becoming brown and furrowed

Where: Wallowa Mountains


Rocky Mt. JuniperRocky Mountain Juniper
 – Juniperus scopulorum

Needles: Scaled, in opposite pairs

Cones:  Small blue berry

Bark: Brown with shredded scales

Where: Dry areas in mountains east of the Cascades


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