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What are the Different Kinds of Pine Trees?

Have you ever dreamed of having your very own pine tree in your yard? Before you decide to start your search, did you know that there are many different kinds of pine trees out there? It can be an overwhelming decision knowing which one to pick, which is why we’re here to help.

Here are some favorites that may work for your yard.

Eastern White Pine

Eastern White Pine, known scientifically as Pinus strobus, is also sometimes referred to as the Northern White Pine. This is because it is one of the most popular trees found in North America as it is the tallest native conifer.

What are the Different Kinds of Pine TreesThis tree is among the more rapid growing conifers found in the north. This also makes it a top choice for reforestation projects. Additionally, it is also a very popular Christmas tree.

According to the United States Forest Service, the white pine also has “the distinction of having been one of the more widely planted American trees.” Is it right for your yard?

The needles on the Eastern White Pine are soft, typically found in bundles of five. These needles are bluish green in color and are flexible. They reach lengths of 2-5 inches. The cones of these trees run on the slender side, reaching a length of 3-6 inches.

Easter White Pines will regularly live to over 200 years, with some known to have lived for more than 400 years.

Western White Pine

Western White Pine, known scientifically as Pinus monticola, is also sometimes referred to as silver pine or the California mountain pine. These trees regularly reach heights of 230 feet (averaging 1-2 feet each year) and grow to widths between 19-164 feet. It is quite the majestic looking tree, often reaching taller than the Eastern White Pine.

The Western White Pines are usually grown as ornamental trees. The needles of these trees are soft, found in bundles of five, and have a broadleaved sheath. The needles also have a fine, jagged edge and reach lengths of about 2-5 inches long. The cones of the pines are long and slender, while the scales are thin and flexible.

These trees, like other white pines, can live over 400 years.

Loblolly Pine

Loblolly Pine, known scientifically as the Pinus taeda, is classified as a yellow pine. These trees can reach heights of 98-115 feet and width of 1.3-4.9 feet. In some cases, a Loblolly Pine has been known to grow 160 feet, but this is not as common. These trees are known to help stabilize soil.

The needles of the Loblolly Pine are a hard pine found in bundles of three. The needles are also sometimes twisted. The cones are green in color. They grow to 2-5 inches in length. Each of these cones has a sharp spine.

These trees can live over 300 years.

Lodgepole Pine

Lodgepole Pine, known scientifically as Pinus contorta, is sometimes also known as a shore pine or a twister pine. There are four different types of subspecies of this tree. Depending on which subspecies you choose, the Lodgepole Pine will either be an evergreen shrub or a tree. If a shrub form is chosen, it will grow to only 3-10 feet tall. Other, larger subspecies can grow between 130-160 feet high.

The Lodgepole Pine needles are hard and found in bundles of two. They grow 1.5 – 3 inches long and are very thin. The pine cones grow to 1-3 inches long as well. They have prickles on their scales.

These trees tend to live about 150 to 200 years, but some have lived for more than 400 years.

Limber Pine

Limber Pine, scientifically known as Pinus flexilis, is part of the Pinaceae family. It is called “limber” due to its pliant branches. The needles of this tree are long and a dark blue-green in color.

The Limber Pine tends to grow approximately 65 feet in favorable conditions and can sometimes reach 80 feet, but that is rare. The needles are a soft pine, found in bundles of five, with broadleaved sheath.

Some Limber Pine trees found in the U.S. exceed 1500 years old.

Ponderosa Pine

Ponderosa Pine, known scientifically as Pinus Ponderosa, is also sometimes known as the bull pine, blackjack pine, or western yellow-pine. In North America, it is the species that is the most widely distributed. Its distinctive bark sets it apart from other species of evergreen trees. It is also a popular choice for an ornamental tree.

There are five subspecies of the Ponderosa Pine all varying in size and needle type. Ponderosa Pine tends to grow to 60-100 feet tall and 25-30 feet wide. The needles, depending on the species, vary greatly.

The Pacific subspecies and Columbia ponderosa, for example, have flexible needles that are found in bundles of three. Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain subspecies has stout needles that are bushier and found in bundles of two or three.

These trees often to live to approximately 200 years.

Pinyon Pine

The Pinyon Pine, known scientifically as Pinus edulis, rarely grows taller than 20 feet, making this a great choice if you do not want a massive tree in your yard. Additionally, these trees grow nuts, known as pine nuts, that are edible. There are eight different species of true pinyon pine.

Pinyon pine trees do not grow fast. For instance, even after 60 years, these trees may only reach a height of 6-7 feet. The needles on these trees are usually bundled in two, however, some subspecies can yield a single need or needles found in bunches of five.

These trees do live long lives and can exceed 600 years.

Stone Pine

The Stone Pine, known scientifically as Pinus pines, can also be referred to as the Mediterranean pine, umbrella pine, or parasol pine. It is often referred to as the umbrella pine as it takes on an umbrella shape with a flat top while the branches grow out. These trees are ornamental trees and are planted in gardens all around the world. Like the Pinyon pine, these trees also grow edible pine nuts.

The Stone Pine typically grows to about 40-66 feet tall, but it’s not uncommon for it to reach 80 feet or taller. The needles on these trees usually grow in bunches of two. It has an expected lifespan of 150 years.

These are just some of the different kinds of pine trees available, however, there are many others as well. If you are looking to add to your landscape and want to know the best one for your space, give us a call; we are happy to advise as you search out the perfect pine!