Pinus ponderosa

Since the 1800s, ponderosa pine lumber has helped build the West as we know it. The name ponderosa comes from the Latin ponderosus, meaning large, heavy, or weighty. It is the “signature” tree of the mountainous western United States—the most widely distributed pine in North America, and one of the largest and fastest growing, yet one which can live for hundreds of years. Native Americans ate the seeds of this tree either raw or made into a bread and used the pitch as an adhesive and waterproofing agent for canoes, baskets, and tents.

  • Culture
  • Concerns
  • Management
Culture for Ponderosa pine

  • Identifiable by its large orange bark plates with black edges that protect it from fire
  • Thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 7
  • Drought resistant because its deep roots can reach moist soils far below the surface
  • Its deep roots also resist uprooting in strong winds
  • Forest fires help keep more shade-tolerant trees from invading ponderosa habitat
  • Low-intensity ground fires open fallen pine cones, thereby allowing regeneration from seed
  • Used in windbreaks, buffer strips, reclamation, and mass landscape plantings
  • A popular ornamental tree due to its fast growth and interesting features

Concerns about Ponderosa pine

  • Young ponderosa pines are susceptible to drought and plant competition
  • Pine beetles (Dendroctonus spp.) cause death by transmitting blue stain fungus to the tree and through consumption of the phloem by their larvae

Management Practices for Ponderosa pine

  • Young trees might require irrigation and protection from plant competition
  • Treatments for bark beetles might be necessary as the trees mature

Photos related to Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine Image 1

Ponderosa pine Image 2

Ponderosa pine Image 3




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