The measurement was performed by Michael Taylor and Mario Vaden, a professional arborist from Oregon. Some state that the bark smells of turpentine, which could reflect the dominance of terpenes (alpha- and beta-pinenes, and delta-3-carene). The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization. In 1836, it was formally named and described by Charles Lawson, a Scottish nurseryman. When a botanist and a geneticist from California found in 1948 a distinct tree on Mt. It is the most widely distributed pine species in North America. In the spring, the bark was scraped and eaten raw as a sweet treat. [23], The fire cycle for ponderosa pine is 5 to 10 years, in which a natural ignition sparks a low-intensity fire. Description: The ponderosa pine is a long-lived species found in abundance throughout the western U.S. [24], Pinus ponderosa needles are the only known food of the caterpillars of the gelechiid moth Chionodes retiniella. The Rocky Mountains subspecies has shorter—3.6–5.7 in (9.2–14.4 cm)—and stout needles growing in scopulate (bushy, tuft-like) fascicles of two or three. A million members, donors, and partners support our programs to make our world greener and healthier. This species is grown as an ornamental plant in parks and large gardens. [22] Arizona pine (P. arizonica), found primarily in the mountains of extreme southwestern New Mexico, southeastern Arizona, and northern Mexico and sometimes classified as a variety of ponderosa pine, is presently recognized as a separate species. In its Northern limits, it only grows below 1,300m (4,200 ft) elevation, but is most common below 800m (2,600 ft). It is found on foothills and mid-height peaks of the northern, central, and southern Rocky Mountains, in the Cascade Range, in the Sierra Nevada, and in the maritime-influenced Coast Range. An additional variety, tentatively named P. p. var. Needles are found in clusters of three—called fascicles—and are typically 4-6 inches long. Rose in western Nevada with some marked differences from the ponderosa pine they knew in California, they described it as a new species, Washoe pine Pinus washoensis. Features stout, green to yellowish-green needles 5–7" in length that are usually tufted at the ends of mostly bare branches. The seeds are eaten by squirrels, chipmunks, quail, grouse, and Clark's nutcracker, while mule deer browse the seedlings. The bark helps to distinguish it from other species. The largest ponderosa pine on record live along the humid Pacific coast, where California naturalist John Muir once measured a giant, 220 feet tall and eight feet in diameter. Develops a deep taproot, making it very wind-resistant. The Scottish botanist David Douglas named this pine for its ponderous or heavy wood. It is highly drought-tolerant once established but is intolerant of excessively wet or poorly drained sites. Inner bark gum was used for medicine. [9], Pinus ponderosa is a large coniferous pine (evergreen) tree. Moderate to rapid growth rates vary within the species. Attributes. These pine trees give off a turpentine-like smell, indicating the presence of … This is a yellow pine with yellow or light brown heartwood. The ponderosa pine also provided canoes for Lewis and Clark after they crossed the Rocky Mountains into the headwaters of the Columbia River. [26], Pinus ponderosa is affected by Armillaria, Phaeolus schweinitzii, Fomes pini, Atropellis canker, dwarf mistletoe, Polyporus anceps, Verticicladiella, Elytroderma needlecast and western gall rust. Planting Ponderosa Pine Trees. However, the tree was not officially named the state tree until 1949. [40] The closely related five-needled Arizona pine (Pinus arizonica) extends southward into Mexico. Some botanists historically treated some races as distinct species. Matures to an irregular, cylindrical shape. Needles are widest, stoutest, and fewest (averaging 2.2–2.8 in (56–71 mm)) for the species. Four of these have been termed "geographic races" in forestry literature. Pinus ponderosa is the official state tree of Montana. 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42401A2977432.en, "Pinus ponderosa: A Taxonomic Review with Five Subspecies in the United States", "Pinus ponderosa: Geographic Races and Subspecies Based on Morphological Variation", "How Do We Know Nuclear Bombs Blow Down Forests? It can range from 55-90’ tall and can live up to 400 years. The inner bark was ground into emergency flour, and the young cones were boiled for emergency food. Ponderosa pine grows best in full sun and deep, moist, well drained soil, but will adapt to a wide range of soil and growing conditions including alkaline, dry, low humidity, wind,and high elevation. The central High Plains subspecies is characterized by the fewest needles (1.4 per whorl, on average); stout, upright branches at narrow angles from the trunk; and long green needles—5.8–7.0 in (14.8–17.9 cm)—extending farthest along the branch, resembling a fox tail. The bark on the young trees is blackish or dark red-brown and furrowed, and on mature trees yellow brown to russet broken up into scaly plates separated by deep, irregular fissures. Snags (standing dead trees) provide a large number of wildlife species with nesting and roosting sites. Unpublished report. In 1829, Douglas concluded that he had a new pine among his specimens and coined the name Pinus ponderosa[7] for its heavy wood. Like most western pines, the ponderosa generally is associated with mountainous topography. Ponderosa Pine Facts: Tips For Planting Ponderosa Pine Trees. The needles were steeped to make a tea. The seeds provide food for birds and small mammals, particularly turkeys, nuthatches, crossbills, grosbeaks, pine siskins, grouse, squirrels, chipmunks and mice. In Arizona, it predominates on the Mogollon Rim and is scattered on the Mogollon Plateau and on mid-height peaks in Arizona and New Mexico. [27], It attracts the western pine beetle and mountain pine beetle. Ponderosa pines will keep their needles for several years. Ponderosa covers 1 million acres (4,000 km2), or 80%,[21] of the Black Hills of South Dakota. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, Vallejo, CA. The Columbia ponderosa pine has long—4.7–8.1 in (12.0–20.5 cm)—and relatively flexible needles in fascicles of three. For the plant community that is dominated by this tree, see, "Ponderosa pines" redirects here. The deep taproot system of ponderosa pines makes them wind-resistant. Under cultivation it grows 60'-100' with a 25'-30' spread, and 150'-230' in the wild. The bark helps to distinguish it from other species. It is damaged by late frosts and is intolerant of shade. The narrow to broad pyramidal crown on young trees flattens out on old trees with lower branch loss. Western pine and other beetles can be found consuming the bark. It was first documented in modern science in 1826 in eastern Washington near present-day Spokane (of which it is the official city tree). The Pacific subspecies has the longest—7.8 in (19.8 cm)—and most flexible needles in plume-like fascicles of three. Younger trees have blackish-brown bark, referred to as "blackjacks" by early loggers. Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day. This evergreen tree may get up to 165 feet tall and has a soaring straight trunk topped by a relatively small crown. The leaves, twigs and bark are browsed by porcupines, mule deer and elk. 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