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Lodgepole Pine Pinus contorta


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Family: Pinaceae, Pine view all from this family

Description Widely distributed, known for its long, slender trunk and high, narrow crown. Near timberline shrub form twisted and bent. Bark thin, light brown, scaly. Branches upright, covered with short shoots. Buds reddish-brown, short pointed, slightly rotated, very resinous between 20 and 30 millimetres (0.79 and 1.2 in) long. Needles in bundles of two, dark, shiny, pointed 4 to 8 cm (1.6 to 3.1 in) long and 0.9 to 2 mm (0.035 to 0.079 in) wide. Cones brownish yellow, 3–7 cm (3/4 - 2 in), have prickles on the scales, and often need exposure to high temperatures to open and release their seeds.

Dimensions Height: 6-24 m. (20-80 ft)
Diameter: 0.3-0.9 m. (1-3 ft).

Habitat Mountains, Swamps (fresh & salt).

Range California, Western Canada, Rocky Mountains, Northwest, Southwest, Plains, Alaska.

Discussion One of the most widely distributed tree species in western North America.
Lodgepole pine is named for its common use in the Native American tepee lodge. The long, straight, and lightweight characteristics of the species made it ideal for horse transport in nomadic buffalo hunting cultures. Tribes made long journeys across the plains to secure lodgepole pines that only grew in mountainous areas.