Pine at Tualatin Hills Nature Park
Bundles of 3, 5-10" long
3-6" long, egg shaped
Below 5000 ft.
Ponderosa Pine has 3 needles per bundle. The needles are up to 10
inches long, with sharp points. Ponderosa
Pine is easy to identify outside of southwest Oregon because it is the
only 3 needle pine in the rest of the Northwest.
cones are 3 to 6 inches long and have a
sharp point on each scale.
The bark is the
most striking and
distinctive characteristic of this pine, with flat red or yellow plates
shaped like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The bark is more colorful on
older trees, most notably on large trees growing east of the Cascades.
it grows: Ponderosa Pine
is common throughout much of the
western US. It is
the most common conifer in the Northwest east of the Cascades, growing
at elevations up to 5000 feet. Although it thrives in dry, mountainous
regions, it is
also native to the
wet habitat of the Willamette Valley, but there the bark loses some its
distinctive color, as shown by the photo below. Ponderosa
Pine is the state tree of Montana.
Two subspecies of Pinus ponderosa grow in the
- Subspecies ponderosa
grows east of the Cascades.
- Subspecies benthamiana
grows in the Willamette Valley and the coastal mountains of southwest
Similar Tree: Jeffrey Pine grows in southwest Oregon
lumber is widely used in home construction, window and door frames,
moldings, and furniture. Squirrels, chipmunks and many kinds of birds
eat the seeds. Some cache the seeds, which facilitates the propagation
of more pine
Clark encountered this pine in 1805 and were impressed by
its long needles. In 1826, David Douglas named it for its heavy
(ponderous) wood. Other common names: Yellow Pine, Western Yellow Pine,
*The Gymnosperm Database
lists these as subspecies. Oregon Flora Project lists them as
Pine bark near Bend, Oregon
Pine Bark near Portland