Pinus ponderosa
Common name: 
Ponderosa Pine
Western Yellow Pine
Pronunciation: 
PI-nus pon-der-O-sa
Family: 
Pinaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Conifer
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
Yes
  • Conifer, evergreen tree, 60-100 ft (18-30 m), narrow, pyramidal when young, to an irregularly cylindrical, narrow crown.  Bark brown-black in young trees, but in older trees yellowish brown or cinnamon and in large, flat, scaly plates.  Needles long (13-25 cm) and in 3's or sometimes in 2's, crowded on branchlets, sharp at apex, horny point, stomatal lines on each surface.  Cones 5-15cm long, conical or egg-shaped, almost stalkless, light, reddish-brown to gray-brown, armed with straight prickles.
  • Sun.  Prefers well-drained, moist, deep site.  Resistant to drought and tolerates alkaline soil.
  • The Sequoia pitch moth attacks ponderosa pine.  Larvae of this insect bore into the tree's cambium layer, especially around injuries and pruning cuts, and this stimulates pitch and resin flow.   Only prune in the months of October through January.  In the Willamette Valley, trunks may produce much pitch in response to insect attack.  However, genotypes adapted to Valley conditions are reportedly less prone to serious injury by pitch moths.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3      British Columbia to Mexico, east to South Dakota and Texas.  In the Pacific Northwest it is most commonly found east of the Cascades, however in Oregon it is common in the western valleys of the Willamette, Umpqua, and Rogue Rivers.
  • Often confused with Pinus jeffreyi, several characteristics are used to distinguish between the two species.
  • Several subspecies are recognized and a number cultivated selections are available, the latter are usually dwarf forms, such as 'Dixie'.
  • ponderosa: heavy, the wood.
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  • ponderosa pine forest

    ponderosa pine forest

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • shoots

    shoots

  • needles

    needles

  • needles and cone

    needles and cone

  • male cones and young shoot

    male cones and young shoot

  • male cones: before, at, and after pollen release

    male cones: before, at, and after pollen release

  • immature seed cones and young shoot

    immature seed cones and young shoot

  • mature seed cones

    mature seed cones

  • cones, closed and open

    cones, closed and open

  • cone prickles

    cone prickles

  • mature cone, closed

    mature cone, closed

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • older trunks, bark

    older trunks, bark