Ponderosa Pine Is The Official State Tree Of Montana. Montana Adopted the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) as the official state tree in 1949. Montana school children selected the ponderosa pine as the Montana State Tree over the Douglas fir, American larch, and cottonwood as Montana’s state tree in 1908, but it was not made official until 1949. State Tree Ponderosa Pine are tall, stately trees that reach heights of 60 to nearly 150 feet. Their trunks are straight and uniform and may grow to five feet in diameter. When mature, the trees usually are bare of branches for two-thirds of the way up the trunk, with rounded tops or “crowns.”
Their needles are four to six inches long and grow in pairs. Ponderosa Pine begins producing cones at 15 to 20 years of age. State Tree Of Montana cones, about two inches long and stout, has a two-year growing cycle; they begin growing in mid-summer the first year, remain attached through the following summer, and ripen in the fall.
State Tree Ponderosa Pine are popular as Christmas trees when small, and when mature are harvested for use as structural timber and pulpwood; they also make suitable poles, pilings, mining timbers, and railroad ties because their wood is easily penetrated by preservatives. Montana State Tree Ponderosa Pine can live to be about 400 years old. Montana State Tree grow on outwash plains, level or gently rolling sand plains, and low ridges adjacent to lakes and swamps; in northeastern Montana, they often grow on very exposed sites including islands, peninsulas, lakeshores, and steep slopes.
- Botanical Name: Pinus resinosa
- All Common Names: Red Pine, Norway Pine, Ponderosa Pine
Size & Form:
- A large evergreen tree reaching 50 to 80 feet high with varying width.
- Older trees develop an oval habit with lateral branches that start relatively low to the ground.
Tree & Plant Care:
- Prefers a dry, loose, sandy soil with a low pH in full sun.
- Trees are extremely cold tolerant.
Disease, pests, and problems:
- The Ponderosa Pine is susceptible to sweeping winds and salt.
- Susceptible to many insect and disease problems and not recommended as a landscape plant.
Native geographic location and habitat: