Northwest Conifers

Non-native Conifers

Many of the conifers found in our cities and parks are non-natives introduced from other parts of the country or world. Here are some of the popular non-natives.

Norway SpruceNorway Spruce
 – Picea abies

Needles: Sharp, thin, stick out all around the twig

Cones: 4-7" long with paper-thin scales

Bark: Gray-brown scales


Blue SpruceBlue Spruce
 – Picea pungens

Needles: Sharp, thin, blue, stick out all around twig

Cones: 3" long with paper-thin scales

Bark: Gray-brown scales


E White PineEastern White Pine
 – Pinus strobus

Needles: 3-5" long in bundles of 5

Cones: 4-6" long, curved

Bark: Dark gray scaly plates


Deodar CedarCedars
 – Cedrus

Needles: Bundles of 15-35, sharp points

Cones: Upright, disperse seeds on tree

Bark: Gray, furrowed with flat plates


Japanese Red PineJapanese Red Pine
 – Pinus densiflora

Needles:  3-4" long in bundles of 2

Cones:  2" long, egg-shaped

Bark: Red-brown, developing flaky scales on large trunks


Giant SequoiaGiant Sequoia
 – Sequoiadendron giganteum

Leaves: Awl-shaped with sharp points

Cones:  Size and shape of Chicken egg, hard, lip-shaped scales

Bark: Reddish brown, fibrous and soft, deep furrows


Scots PineScots Pine
 – Pinus sylvestris

Needles:  1-3" long in bundles of 2, often blue-green

Cones:  1-2" long, egg-shaped, diamond-shaped scales

Bark: Young bark is orange-red, developing gray scales on large trunks


Dawn RedwoodDawn Redwood
 – Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Needles: Flat and flat on twig, angled forward, deciduous

Cones: Small, egg shaped, hard, like Redwood cones. 

Bark: Reddish-brown, becoming furrowed


Jack PineJack Pine
 – Pinus banksiana

Needles: 1-2" long in bundles of 2

Cones:  2" long, curved, clusters of 2 or 3, point forward on branch

Bark: Orange to reddish-brown, developing furrows and gray scales


Spanish FirSpanish Fir
 – Abies pinsapo

Needles: 1" long, stiff,  growing all around twig

Cones: 4-7" long, upright, disperse seeds on tree

Bark: Gray with blisters, breaking into scaly plates and small fissures



  • The conifers shown here may appear different from some of the horticultural varieties that have been developed from the original natural tree species.
  • Many native conifers are also planted in our cities and parks.

© 2013 Ken Denniston