6 Great Types of Pine Trees in Oregon

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The northwestern part of the United States is known for its beauty, and one of the things that makes it so gorgeous is the number of trees planted throughout each state. Oregon is no different, and its native trees include the big leaf maple, red alder, oak, dogwood, and of course, pine trees. These and other trees are very sturdy in nature, which makes them perfect for growing in this part of the country.

Native trees in any state provide numerous advantages for gardeners, homeowners, and municipalities, because they tend to be low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and attract pollinators that include butterflies. Native trees are attractive and usually stick around for many years, and since every state has its own department that lends advice and assistance for growing these trees, it is super-easy to learn how to care for them.

Pine trees in Oregon are not that difficult to find because they can be found throughout the state, and you don’t need to be a professional gardener or arborist to keep these beautiful trees in your yard. If you’d like to learn more about the different pine trees available throughout the state of Oregon, below is a list of them to help you get started.

1. Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)

pinus ponderosa in winter
Forest and Kim Starr Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa pine) in winter

This pine tree can get to over 230-feet high and can have a circumference of up to 27 feet. It is a very attractive tree that is often found in large public areas such as parks and gardens. In fact, the tallest Ponderosa pine has a recorded size of 268 feet in height, making it the second-tallest tree next to the sugar pine. 

The Ponderosa pine tree is also a very attractive tree with bright-green needles and brownish-black bark, making it perfect for yards, office properties, and even public parks, gardens, and many other outdoor areas.

2. Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta)

Lodgepole Pine Pinus Contorta Var. Latifolia
Matt Lavin Lodgepole Pine (Pinus Contorta Var. Latifolia)

Also called a shore pine or twisted pine, the Lodgepole pine is characterized by its very resinous needles and cones that have prickles on the scales. These trees grow to 130 to 160 feet and have very strong branches – branches that are thick and hang down and are very difficult to break.

Lodgepole pine trees are used as timber for construction and many other projects, and in some cultures they have even been used for medicinal purposes. Four subspecies fall under this category, and they can even grow as a shrub that gets up to 10-feet high in some instances.

3. Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi)

Jeffrey Pine Pinus Jeffreyi
Public Domain Jeffrey Pine (Pinus Jeffreyi)

Also called the yellow pine or black pine, the Jeffrey pine is found mostly in California and southwestern Oregon, among a few other places, and it is named for John Jeffrey, who was a botanist documenter. The tree gets from 80 to 130 feet in height and has needle-like leaves that grow in groups of three. 

Similar to the Ponderosa pine, you can tell the difference by the cones, because the scale barbs point inward on the Jeffrey cones and, therefore, they are soft when you rub them. It is the opposite for the Ponderosa pine, as their barbs point outward and so the cones are prickly instead of smooth.

4. Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana Douglas)

Sugar Pine Pinus Lambertiana Douglas
flickr | Joe Blowe Sugar Pine (Pinus Lambertiana Douglas)

Also called the sugar cone pine, this pine tree not only is the largest of all pine trees, but it also has the largest cone of any conifer tree. The trees grow to between 130 and 195 feet in height, and their cones can get up to nearly 20 inches in length. The largest sugar pine tree was found in Yosemite National Park and was more than 273-feet high, and others have gotten up to more than 250-feet tall, so these are quite impressive-looking trees.

5. Washoe Pine (Pinus washoensis)

Washoe Pine (Pinus washoensis)
Gary A. Monroe Washoe Pine (Pinus washoensis)

Found only in California, Oregon, and Nevada, the Washoe pine tree is a variation of the Ponderosa pine. It is quite large, getting up to 130 feet in height and up to five feet in diameter. The oldest recorded Washoe pine is found in Nevada and is 300 years old. The twigs are reddish-orange to gray in color, and the needles are dark-green and four to six inches in length.

These pine trees are very useful because they are great for watershed management and for erosion control. If you peel the bark away, the twigs can even be used for medicinal purposes.

6. White Bark Pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm.)

White Bark Pine Pinus Albicaulis
flickr | J Brew White Bark Pine Pinus Albicaulis

Also known as the creeping pine or white pine, this tree has female cones that are roughly three inches long and which get dark-purple in color when they are fully mature. The seeds provide the perfect food source for various wildlife, and the trees themselves are similar to other pine trees – including the Lodgepole, Ponderosa, and Jeffrey pines – and usually require close inspection to tell the difference.

White bark pine trees are native to the mountainous areas of the northwestern United States and parts of Canada.

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