The Lodgepole Pine is a straight tree from 60 to 150 feet tall and 12 to 86 inches in diameter, and grows from low elevations in the north up to 11,500 feet in the south. It is typically a Northern Rocky Mountain pine. For a long time this tree was rated very low as a timber tree because of its knotty lumber and the rather poor quality of the wood. It grows in dense stands of tall straight trees. The bark is a quarter of an inch thick, a pale brown or grayish color with many thin irregular scales. The bright yellowish-green needles, usually about two inches long, grow in pairs.
The shiny light yellowish-brown to dark brown cones up to two inches long, frequently grow in clusters. The cone scales have a sharp prickle. Some of the cones open at maturity, while others remain on the tree for several years before opening to release the seed. Because of the dense stands of the tree, serious damage is done to it by forest fires. The tree also suffers great damage from mistletoe and fungi, bark beetles, and porcupines.
- Lodgepole Pine (Wyo., Wash., Mont., Idaho., Colo.)
- Prickly Pine (Utah)
- Sand Pine (Oreg)
- Birdseye Pine (Idaho., Wyo.)
- Scrub Pine
- Black Pine (Wyo., Mont.)
- Shore Pine (lit)
- Bolander’s Pine
- Spruce Pine (Colo., Idaho., Mont.)
- Henderson’s Pine
- Tamarack Pine (Calif., Wash.)
- Jack Pine (Colo.)
- Tamarack (Wyo., Utah., Mont., Calif., and trade)
- Knotty Pine
- Murray Pine (Calif., lit.)
- Twisted Pine (Eastern States)
- North Coast Scrub Pine (Calif., lit.)
- White Pine (Mont., Colo.)
The growth range of Lodgepole Pine is from southern Alaska, western Canada southward through Washington, Oregon and California and eastward into most of the Rocky Mountain region as far south as New Mexico and northern Utah.
The heartwood varies in color from a light yellow to a creamy yellowish light brown-tan sometimes having a reddish tinge, while the sapwood is narrow and nearly white. The wood is moderately hard, stiff, straight grained, medium ﬁne-textured, and brittle. It contains numerous ﬁne resin ducts which exude resin. It is easy to work, glues well and holds paint reasonably well. The tangential surfaces frequently have a “dimpled” or pebbled appearance resembling “bird’s-eye” because of which it is sometimes called Bird’s-eye Pine.
At present Lodgepole Pine is used chieﬂy for mine props, railroad ties, telephone and telegraph poles, fence posts, house logs, paper pulp and some general construction. Doubtless it will have greater use in interior furnishing as “knotty pine” and as box lumber and siding, etc. The unusual specimen above displays the “bird’s-eye” ﬁgure sometimes found in Lodgepole Pine. It is caused by resin secretions on the inside of the bark, and as the tree grows a “dimpled” effect is produced in the wood.
|124||Pinus Contorta Var. Latifolia Englemann
Lodgepole Pine Forest, Colville National Forest, Washington
Reference: Region, U. S. Forest Service-Pacific Northwest. Lodgepole Pine Forest, Colville National Forest. 9 July 2000. Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/forestservicenw/36168015722/.
|125||Foxtail Pine Vs Lodgepole Pine Trunks
Foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana) on left vs lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) on right, trunks and bark. Along John Muir Trail on high shoulder N of and overlooking Bubbs Creek, Sierra Nevada, California USA.
Attribution: By Dcrjsr [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
|126||Lodgepole Pine Cone
Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) cones; Rosalie LaRue; 1976
Reference: Yellowstone’s Photo Collection. https://www.nps.gov/features/yell/slidefile/plants/conifers/pine/Page-1.htm. Accessed 1 Aug. 2018.