Montana State Tree - Ponderosa Pine - 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
Photos courtesy: Michael Aust, John Baitey, Ctaude L. Brown, Bruce Bongarten,
Susan D. Day, Edward C. Jensen, Richard E. Kreh, Larry H. McCormick, Alex X.
Niemiera, John A. Peterson, Oana Popescu, John R. Seiter, David W. Smith, Kim
C. Steiner, James E. Ward, Rodney E. Will, Shepard M. Zedaker.
Text written by: John R. Seiter, Edward C. Jensen, Or John A. Peterson