Lodgepole pine SW of Bend
Shore Pine, Sierra-Cascade
Lodgepole Pine, Lodgepole
Variety distribution based on informantio from conifers.org.
Lodgepole pine grows tall and straight to a height
of 160 feet (50 meters) in the Cascades. However, along the wind-swept
coast, it is usually much shorter
and rarely straight.
Lodgepole pine is the only pine native to the Northwest with 2
egg-shaped cones are 2 inches long and have sharp prickles
on the scales. The cones often remain unopened and on the tree until
exposed to fire.
The bark is dark
gray and scaly with small furrows.
Three varieites of Pinus
grow in the Northwest:*
- Shore pine (var. contorta) grows
the Coast from California to Southeast Alaska. The growth form is often
true to its name, becoming contorted as it responds to wind and salt
- Sierra-Cascade lodgepole pine (var. murrayana)
the Cascades of Oregon. It also grows in the mountains of
California. Its cones usually open on the tree. The main
branches point up at the tips.
- Lodgepole pine (var. latifolia
grows in the Cascades of Washington and northeastern mountains of
Oregon and Washington. It also grows in northern Idaho and throughout much of the
In the mountains, lodgepole pine grows in dry
areas in the
middle elevations, where it
often forms pure stands of dense trees, growing into straight, slender
poles. It can grow at the timberline, where it often
resembles its contorted coastal form.
used this pine for tepee poles (lodge poles) wherever the trees were
available in the western U.S. Some traveled great distances to find
suitable poles in the mountains where they grew. Lodgepole pine
is used today for posts and poles, and to build barns and
form is often called "shore pine." Along the coast
and on windy mountain ridges it is often small and contorted, as
described by its scientific name, Pinus
In other areas it can grow to be tall and
straight, more in character with its "lodgepole" namesake. Other common
names: Tamarack pine, beach pine, scrub pine, sand pine, and
(www.conifers.org), Aljos Farjon, A
Handbook of the World’s Conifers, James
of the World, Zsolt Debreczy and Istvan Racz, Conifers Around the World.
Common names from Eckenwalder and USFS Silvics Manual .
and pollen cones
Shore pine at Oceanside