Ponderosa Pine


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide

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PONDEROSA PINE
pinus ponderosa
  • The Ponderosa Pine is also known as Western Yellow Pine, Bull Pine, Pondosa Pine, Rock Pine
  • It was named the Ponderosa Pine because of its ponderous size
  • The Ponderosa Pine is the only native British Columbia pine with bundles of three needles

UNIQUE FEATURES:

  • The Ponderosa Pine has a large crown, straight trunk
  • The bark and cones are good for quick hot fires
  • wolf lichen grows on the trunks and dead branches
  • The Ponderosa Pine has a long, deep root system that enables it to access deep water and keep the tree from blowing over
  • Ponderosa Pines can live as long as 400 to 500 years

LOCATION:

  • The Ponderosa Pine is found in the southern interior of British Columbia
  • Ponderosa Pines can grow in a variety of soils; from extremely dry to deep, moist, well-drained areas
  • The Ponderosa Pine can be found in both high and low elevations

SIZE:

  • Ponderosa Pines average about 25 to 30 metres tall; but can reach up to 50 metres tall and 2 metres in diameter

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CONES:

  • narrow, oval shape
  • 7 to 14 cm long
  • scales thicker towards the tip with a rigid prickle on the end
  • 2.5 cm wing on seeds

Ponderosa3.Gif

NEEDLES:

  • occur in bunches of three
  • 12 to 28 cm in length, thin and pointed with toothed edges

BARK:

  • when young: black, rough and scaly
  • when mature: thick, bright orangey-brown, deeply grooved into jig-saw like flakes
  • the thick bark protects the tree from ground fires
  • on a hot day the bark smells like vanilla
  • a young twig smells faintly of oranges

WOOD CHARACTERISTICS:

  • knotty
  • clear, even grained

USES:

  • modern - doors, windows, furniture, paneling, shelving
  • traditional - seeds/inner bark: food; wood: dugout canoes; pitch: waterproofing, ointment

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Ponderosa Pine