Northwest Conifers


Jeffrey Pine – Pinus jeffreyi Speaker

Jeffrey Pine

Jeffrey Pine at Hoyt Arboretum


USGS Distribution Map

Jeffrey pine is similar in appearance to ponderosa pine. It grows to over 130 feet (40 meters), much smaller than the largest ponderosa.

Needles: Like ponderosa pine, it has 3 needles per bundle. Jeffrey pine needles typically grow farther along the twig, while ponderosa pine needles tend to be bunched at the end. 

Cones:The cones are 6 to 10 inches long and have a sharp prickle on each scale. Although Jeffrey cones are often described as less prickley than ponderosa cones, the difference is a subtle one. Cone size is the best way to distinguish Jeffrey pine from ponderosa pine, which has smaller 3 to 6 inch cones. The prickles do tend to point out more on Ponderosa cones, but this doesn't mean you won't feel any pain when you pick up a Jeffrey cone. The Jeffrey prickles are long and narrow compared to those of ponderosa pine.

Bark: The bark looks similar to ponderosa pine with flat plates shaped like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. But Jeffrey Pine bark is brown. The bark is variously described as smelling like vanilla, lemon, or pineapple.

Where it grows: Southwest Oregon and throughout the Sierra Nevada of California up to the timberline. 

Uses: Similar to ponderosa pine.

Names: Named after Scottish botanist John Jeffrey. Other common names: Western yellow pine, bull pine. 





Ponderosa and Jeffrey cones


Ponderosa and Jeffrey prickles

© 2012 Ken Denniston