Lodgepole pine

Posted on

Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta ssp. latifolia)  Other WA subspecies:  shore pine (ssp. contorta)

  • Needles: clusters of  2;  2-3 inches long.  Yellow-green, often twisted, and prickly at tip
  • Buds: New growing tips are oval.
  • Bark: On mature trees, red-brown to nearly black, covered with loosely attached scales.
  • Cones: 1-2.5” inches long.  Tips of cone scales have small prickles.  Variable asymmetrical shape.  Unopened closed cones remain for tree for several years.  A percentage of cones termed “seratinous” as they remain closed, sealed in resin, awaiting a forest fire to trigger opening and seed dispersal over the newly burned, bare ground.
  • Form: Tall, evenly tapering, long narrow crown.  Often grows in dense stands.
  • Unique identifier: Needles in clustered of 2; unopened cones remain on branches for years.