The pine stays green in Winter… wisdom in hardship.Norman Douglas
FEATURED NATIVE TREE: Ponderosa Pine / Pinus Ponderosa
Ponderosa Pine Cone
PINE TREE FACTS!
- A tree by many names – now called Pine or Conifer, this tree was called Fir. Term Conifer also refers to Spruce, Yew and a few others.
- Pines are conifers, meaning seed are in cones. Pine Trees are unisex, producing both male and female cones on same tree.
- Seeds have wings and spread by wind or animal droppings. Evergreen leaves are needles bundled in groups called fascicles. Groups are individual or as many as seven.
- Just about every part of most TRUE Pine Trees are edible. Some new needles taste lemony. Edible parts are nuts (obviously), pollen, needles, inner bark
- Some Pines are NOT edible – Ponderosa Pines, all Yew Trees and a few uncommon ones like Norfolk Island Pine and Chinese White Pine are toxic. This is why it’s good to know which to avoid if you’re in a pinch for food.
- Pines generally live long – 100-1000 years. World’s oldest pines (4-5 thousand years) live in Central California. They are Bristlecone Pines.
- Researchers found traces of Conifer Trees 300 million years ago.
- Native Peoples attribute Pine as symbol of wisdom and longevity.
- Some pines, like the local Ponderosa, need fire for seed germination. These plant types are pyriscent. This is good since pine resin is highly flammable.
- Pines are sturdy, growing naturally across the continent, perhaps around the entire northern hemisphere. They grow on snowy mountains up to 13k feet and in some deserts too because they need little water to survive.
- Pine plantations are grown and harvested for timber, Christmas trees, and resin. Pine resin is used for sealant, glue and varnish.
Ponderosa Pine Specifics
- Native to mountains of Western North America.
- Also called Bull and Blackjack among other names.
- Most widely dispersed Pine on continent. Maybe because seed can travel 1,000 feet.
- Ponderosas are tall, straight Pine Trees with reddish, platelike bark and long needles. NPS says the bark smells like vanilla or butterscotch. Needles are 4-8 inches long and grow in threes.
- Heartwood is reddish brown, sapwood is yellowish white.
- It takes 2 years for cones to mature and shed seeds.
- Seeds eaten by birds, squirrels and other small mammals.
Read More About It
- Ponderosa Pine Info at http://www.NPS.gov
- Edible Pine Info at SkilledSurvival.com