Lodgepole Pine

Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta)

Lodgepole Pine

(Pinus contorta)


Family: Pinaceae or Pine

Leaves: Needles in groups of 2; 1" to 3" long; yellow-green; stout; evergreen, remain on tree 4-6 years.

Twigs/buds: Twigs stout; orange-brown to black when older. Buds about 1/4" long; covered with resin; dark brown.

Flowers/fruit: Fruit a woody cone; very short to no stalk; 3/4" to 2" long; oval; brown turning gray; each scale tipped with a prickle; cones often stay on trees and remain tightly closed for many years (such cones are called serotinous).

Bark: Orange-brown to gray; thin, even on older trees; scaly.

Wood: Moderately important; sapwood thick; heartwood light brown; used for lumber, posts, poles, and railroad ties.

General: Native to higher elevations in northern Utah and throughout the West and western Canada. Lodgepole pine in Utah sometimes is called Pinus contorta var. latifolia. Normal growth rate is relatively slow. Grows in dense, single-species stands formed when it seeds-in heavily after fires. Fairly drought resistant. Shade intolerant.

Landscape Use: Rarely planted in the landscape. Could be used occasionally where a natural, less manicured appearance is desired. Zones 2-6. 

Lodgepole Pine landscape
Closed Female Cone
Lodgepole Pine stand
Immature Lodgepole Pine cone
Lodgepole Pine bark
  Mature stand   Cone, immature