Montana State Tree – Ponderosa Pine – Pinus ponderosa
Ponderosa Pine Pinaceae Pinus ponderosa
Leaf: Evergreen, 5 to 10 inches long, with three (sometimes 2) tough, yellow-green
needles per fascicle. When crushed, needles have a turpentine odor sometimes
reminiscent of citrus.
Flower: Monoecious; males yellow-red, cylindrical, in clusters near ends of
branches; females reddish at branch tips.
Fruit: Cones are ovoid, 3 to 6 inches long, sessile, red-brown in color, armed
with a slender prickle. Maturing August to September.
Twig: Stout, orange in color, turning black. Buds often covered with resin.
Bark: Very dark (nearly black) on young trees, developing cinnamon-colored
plates and deep furrows.
Form: A large tree with an irregular crown, eventually developing a flat top
or short conical crown. Ponderosa pine self-prunes well and develops a clear
Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen,
Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson;Silvics reprinted from Ag
Handbook 654; range map source information