We’ll be discussing “pine trees of Oregon”, focusing on the commonly planted species.
Some of the world’s tallest pines are found in Oregon with heights as much as 255 feet. These trees are mostly found in high elevations of the state.
Pine trees offer a lot of benefits as they’re widely used for a variety of purposes. These include carpentry where wood from pine trees is used for floors, frames, paneling, furniture,, and so on.
Also, the resin obtained from some pine tree species is considered a source of turpentine.
Common Pine Tree Features
Although there are several varieties of pine trees, certain features are quite common. These trees possess called leaves which are mostly termed needles. These leaves or needles occur in fascicles numbering about 2 to 8.
These trees possess a rough reddish-brown bark plus pine cones that normally fall off the trees. These cones are of two types; the thick and leaner cones. The thicker cones are considered the females while the leaner ones are the males.
Needles or leaves grow from about 1 inch to 11 inches.
Oregon Pine Trees – 7 Common Species
The state of Oregon has several pine tree species. It will be interesting to know these and their basic characteristics.
Knowing such differences helps with easy identification. The pine tree varieties in Oregon include sugar pine, ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, and western white pine.
Other pine tree species in Oregon include limber pines, Jeffrey pines, whitebark pine, and knobcone pine.
Although we’ve discussed the common characteristics of pine trees, you’ll find that these varieties found in the state of Oregon have some variations from the usual features.
Sugar Pine Trees
This is a pine tree variety common in Oregon. The characteristics of these pines include three-sided needles that grow to about 5 inches in length.
To further distinguish this pine tree from others, you’ll find a white line running along the length of each side of its leaves or needles.
Its reddish-brown bark is consistent with the general characteristics described earlier. Apart from its reddish-brown color, the bark is patterned in a way that is rutted and breaks off in long segments.
The cones are common fruits pine trees are known to bear. These are quite sizeable and come with straight, thick scales and measure about 15 to 20 inches in length. Sugar pine trees are among the tallest growing trees you’ll find.
They grow as much as 190 feet in length.
Recall we earlier said most pine trees found in Oregon are located in areas of high elevations. This also applies to sugar pines as they grow on elevations of about 2,300 to 9,200.
Southern Oregon is where you’ll find these trees in abundance.
Another pine tree variety you’ll find in Oregon (mostly scattered from the rocky mountains to the coastal ranges) are the Ponderosa pines. These trees bear needles to a size of about 10 inches. You’d find these needles in bundles of 3.
The fruits of the Ponderosa pine are its cones which measure about 3 to 5 inches in length. In place of scales are prickles that cover its surface. These fruits or cones are oval-shaped.
Unlike other pine tree varieties, matured Ponderosa pines will have a yellowish-orange bark. This pine tree species can grow considerably tall from about 60 feet to as much as 200 feet.
Among the several pine tree varieties in the state of Oregon are Lodgepole pines. You’ll find these pines along the shore pines also known as the Pacific coasts. Lodgepole pines also grow on high elevations.
As such, you’d find these along rocky mountains at dizzying heights of about 11,500 feet.
Barks are thinner compared to those of other pine tree varieties and easily flake. The bark’s dark color also stands it out from others. Lodgepole pine trees will normally reach an average height of 70 feet.
The cones or fruits are about 2 inches long with small scales. Some needles or leaves are usually twisted.
These leaves measure up to 3 inches long and are grouped in threes.
Western White Pine
One of the easiest ways to identify western white pines is by looking at their needles. These 3-sided leaves measure anywhere from 2 to 4 inches long and grow in groups of 5.
If this seems to be a bit difficult identifying, you might want to take a look at all the sides of its needles. You’ll find two of its three sides bearing white lines.
Additional features that distinguish the western white pine are its curved and slender cones. These can grow to as much as afoot. You’ll find these cones having scales at the surface. Young western white pines look different from mature ones due to their smooth barks.
The bark appearance changes with maturity and is segmented into various shapes. Matured young western white pines have a dark appearance.
Limber pine needles will mostly be found in groups of five.
Measuring an average length of 3 inches long, a close observation of needles will show white lines on all sides. The fruits or cones of this tree measure about 6 to 7 inches with broad scales.
This pine tree variety has a grayish-brown appearance and grows to about 50 feet in length. When compared to other varieties, limber pine trees are among the shortest. Northeastern Oregon is where you’ll find this variety.
The mountainous southern parts of Oregon are home to the Jeffrey pine variety. Needles can grow to about 10 inches in length with cones measuring about a foot long.
The bark of the Jeffrey pine tree has a dark reddish-brown appearance.
This pine tree species have a thin bark which appears grayish and scaly. Its needles are mostly found in groups of five and bear white lines on them. These will grow to about 3 inches long.
The high mountains of Oregon are places where this pine tree variety is common.
So far, we’ve been discussing the pine trees of Oregon with a special focus on their features and where they’re found. With the information provided, you should be able to identify these trees easily.