Ponderosa pine

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Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). 

  • Needles: clusters of  3 (East of Continental Divide, mostly clusters of 2)  5-11 inches long
  • Buds: New growing tips of branches protected with a tuft of long needles
  • Bark: On mature trees, orange/brown/cinnamon-red, deep, dark furrows, and broken up in to plates (puzzle piece shape)
  • Cones: 3-6 inches long, scale armed with a sharp prickle that sticks out, egg-shaped, brown
  • Form; broad open crown with regular whorls of long, well separated branches
  • Unique identifier: Longest needled pine in WA; bark smells like vanilla. Best adapted conifer to warm, dry habitats.  Lower branches naturally die and drop forming a tall bare trunk.