Ponderosa Pine Tree

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Ponderosa Pine - Pinus ponderosa

The Pinus ponderosa, commonly known as the Ponderosa Pine Tree, is a tall, coniferous species of pine native to the western portions of the North American continent. The tree is the most commonly found pine throughout the United States and Canada. The evergreen tree is located in the British Columbia province of Canada and 16 of the American states. The Ponderosa Pine also has been cultivated in parts of Europe, as an ornamental placement in parks and cultivated woodlands. Requiring temperate climates, the tree is most commonly found on mountainsides and higher elevations, though smaller populations grow in some lower regions.

The Ponderosa's unique characteristic is its bark. The yellow to orange-red plates, large for a pine, are offset by dark, black crevices, giving the pine the look of something from a painting. The tree's needles are bright green and have a length anywhere from 2.5 to 8 inches, depending on the local climate. The tree is the second tallest species of pine, capable of surpassing 260 feet in height. The Ponderosa, like several pine species, has a turpentine-like scent. The tree has few natural enemies, though it is susceptible to the blue stain fungus, and is the only food source for gelechiid moth caterpillars. Ponderosa pine trees are well known throughout the western regions of the United States where they survive drought and thrive under challenging conditions.  Though often found in the mountains, these evergreen trees do well in urban environments when given the overhead space they need. They grow at a medium pace, and a grower can expect their ponderosa to grow between 13 and 24 feet per year. When you plant a ponderosa pine, you can expect the tree to last for generations. Their recorded lifespan is up to 300 years.