Pinus ponderosa

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Pinus ponderosa
Pinus ponderosa 15932.JPG
Pinus ponderosa subsp. ponderosa
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: P. subg. Pinus
Section: P. sect. Trifoliae
Subsection: P. subsect. Ponderosae
Species:
P. ponderosa
Binomial name
Pinus ponderosa
Pinus ponderosa subspecies range map 1.png
Natural range of Pinus ponderosa
green - P. ponderosa ssp. ponderosa
red - P. ponderosa ssp. benthamiana
blue - P. ponderosa ssp. scopulorum
yellow - P. ponderosa ssp. brachyptera

Pinus ponderosa, commonly known as the ponderosa pine, [2] bull pine, blackjack pine, [3] or western yellow-pine, [4] is a very large pine tree species of variable habitat native to the western United States and Canada. It is the most widely distributed pine species in North America. [5] :4

Native plant Plant indigenous to a given area in geologic time

Native plants are plants indigenous to a given area in geologic time. This includes plants that have developed, occur naturally, or existed for many years in an area.

Western United States Region in the United States

The Western United States is the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. As European settlement in the U.S. expanded westward through the centuries, the meaning of the term the West changed. Before about 1800, the crest of the Appalachian Mountains was seen as the western frontier. The frontier moved westward and eventually the lands west of the Mississippi River were considered the West.

Western Canada geographical region of Canada

Western Canada, also referred to as the Western provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a region of Canada that includes the four provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. British Columbia is culturally, economically, geographically, and politically distinct from the other parts of Western Canada and is often referred to as the "west coast" or "Pacific Canada", while Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are grouped together as the Prairie Provinces and most commonly known as "The Prairies".

Contents

It grows in various erect forms from British Columbia southward and eastward through 16 western U.S. states and has been successfully introduced in temperate regions of Europe. It was first documented in modern science in 1826 in eastern Washington near present-day Spokane (of which it is the official city tree). On that occasion, David Douglas misidentified it as Pinus resinosa (red pine). In 1829, Douglas concluded that he had a new pine among his specimens and coined the name Pinus ponderosa [6] for its heavy wood. In 1836, it was formally named and described by Charles Lawson, a Scottish nurseryman. [7] It is the official state tree of Montana. [8]

British Columbia Province of Canada

British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.016 million as of 2018, it is Canada's third-most populous province.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Washington (state) State of the United States of America

Washington, officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Named for George Washington, the first president of the United States, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle. Washington is sometimes referred to as Washington State to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States.

Description

Pinus ponderosa in Idaho PonderosaPinebarkidaho.JPG
Pinus ponderosa in Idaho

Pinus ponderosa is a large coniferous pine (evergreen) tree. The bark helps to distinguish it from other species. Mature to over-mature individuals have yellow to orange-red bark in broad to very broad plates with black crevices. Younger trees have blackish-brown bark, referred to as "blackjacks" by early loggers. Ponderosa pine's five subspecies, as classified by some botanists, can be identified by their characteristically bright-green needles (contrasting with blue-green needles that distinguish Jeffrey pine). The Pacific subspecies has the longest—7.8 in (19.8 cm)—and most flexible needles in plume-like fascicles of three. The Columbia ponderosa pine has long—4.7–8.1 in (12.0–20.5 cm)—and relatively flexible needles in fascicles of three. The Rocky Mountains subspecies has shorter—3.6–5.7 in (9.2–14.4 cm)—and stout needles growing in scopulate (bushy, tuft-like) fascicles of two or three. The southwestern subspecies has 4.4–7.8 in (11.2–19.8 cm), stout needles in fascicles of three (averaging 2.7–3.5 in (69–89 mm)). The central High Plains subspecies is characterized by the fewest needles (1.4 per whorl, on average); stout, upright branches at narrow angles from the trunk; and long green needles—5.8–7.0 in (14.8–17.9 cm)—extending farthest along the branch, resembling a fox tail. Needles are widest, stoutest, and fewest (averaging 2.2–2.8 in (56–71 mm)) for the species. [9] [10] [11]

Pinophyta division of plants

The Pinophyta, also known as Coniferophyta or Coniferae, or commonly as conifers, are a division of vascular land plants containing a single extant class, Pinopsida. They are gymnosperms, cone-bearing seed plants. All extant conifers are perennial woody plants with secondary growth. The great majority are trees, though a few are shrubs. Examples include cedars, Douglas firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews. As of 1998, the division Pinophyta was estimated to contain eight families, 68 genera, and 629 living species.

Pine genus of plants

A pine is any conifer in the genus Pinus of the family Pinaceae. Pinus is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List compiled by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden accepts 126 species names of pines as current, together with 35 unresolved species and many more synonyms.

Evergreen plant that has leaves in all four seasons

In botany, an evergreen is a plant that has leaves throughout the year that are always green. This is true even if the plant retains its foliage only in warm climates, and contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season. There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs. Evergreens include:

Sources differ on the scent of P. ponderosa. Some state that the bark smells of turpentine, which could reflect the dominance of terpenes (alpha- and beta-pinenes, and delta-3-carene). [12] Others state that it has no distinctive scent, [13] while still others state that the bark smells like vanilla if sampled from a furrow of the bark. [14] Sources agree that the Jeffrey pine is more strongly scented than the ponderosa pine. [13] [15]

Turpentine natural resin obtained from live trees, mainly pines

Turpentine is a fluid obtained by the distillation of resin from live trees, mainly pines. It is mainly used as a solvent and as a source of materials for organic synthesis.

Size

The National Register of Big Trees lists a Ponderosa Pine that is 235 ft (72 m) tall and 324 in (820 cm) in circumference. [16] In January 2011, a Pacific ponderosa pine in the Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon was measured with a laser to be 268.35 ft (81.79 m) high. The measurement was performed by Michael Taylor and Mario Vaden, a professional arborist from Oregon. The tree was climbed on October 13, 2011, by Ascending The Giants (a tree-climbing company in Portland, Oregon) and directly measured with tape-line at 268.29 ft (81.77 m) high. [17] [18] This is the second tallest known pine after the sugar pine.

Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest United States national forest in Oregon

The Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest is a United States National Forest in the U.S. states of Oregon and California. The formerly separate Rogue River and Siskiyou National Forests were administratively combined in 2004. Now, the Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest ranges from the crest of the Cascade Range west into the Siskiyou Mountains, covering almost 1.8 million acres (7,300 km2). Forest headquarters are located in Medford, Oregon.

Michael Taylor (forester) American forester

Michael W. Taylor is a leading discoverer of champion and tallest trees - most notably coast redwoods. In 2006, Taylor co-discovered the tallest known tree in the world, a coast redwood now named "Hyperion". He also discovered "Helios" and "Icarus", the 2nd and 3rd tallest.

Arborist professional who cares for trees

An arborist, tree surgeon, or arboriculturist, is a professional in the practice of arboriculture, which is the cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants in dendrology and horticulture.

Cultivation

This species is grown as an ornamental plant in parks and large gardens.[ citation needed ]

Use in nuclear testing

During Operation Upshot–Knothole in 1953, a nuclear test was performed in which 145 ponderosa pines were cut down by the United States Forest Service and transported to Area 5 of the Nevada Test Site, where they were planted into the ground and exposed to a nuclear blast to see what the blast wave would do to a forest. The trees were partially burned and blown over. [19]

Ecology and distribution

Subspecies P. p, scopulorum, Custer State Park, South Dakota Pinus ponderosa scopulorum Custer State Park SD.jpg
Subspecies P. p, scopulorum, Custer State Park, South Dakota

Pinus ponderosa is a dominant tree in the Kuchler plant association, the ponderosa shrub forest. Like most western pines, the ponderosa generally is associated with mountainous topography. However, it is found on banks of the Niobrara River in Nebraska. Scattered stands occur in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and in the Okanagan Valley and Puget Sound areas of Washington. Stands occur throughout low level valleys in British Columbia reaching as far north as the Thompson, Fraser and Columbia watersheds. In its Northern limits, it only grows below 1,300m (4,200ft) elevation, but is most common below 800m (2,600ft). Ponderosa covers 1 million acres (4,000 km2), or 80%, [20] of the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is found on foothills and mid-height peaks of the northern, central, and southern Rocky Mountains, in the Cascade Range, in the Sierra Nevada, and in the maritime-influenced Coast Range. In Arizona, it predominates on the Mogollon Rim and is scattered on the Mogollon Plateau and on mid-height peaks in Arizona and New Mexico. It does not extend into Mexico. [21]

The fire cycle for ponderosa pine is 5 to 10 years, in which a natural ignition sparks a low-intensity fire. [22]

Pinus ponderosa needles are the only known food of the caterpillars of the gelechiid moth Chionodes retiniella. [23] Blue stain fungus, Grosmannia clavigera, is introduced in sapwood of P. ponderosa from the galleries of all species in the genus Dendroctonus (Mountain Pine Beetle), which has caused much damage.

Taxonomy

Modern forestry research has identified five different taxa of P. ponderosa, with differing botanical characters and adaptations to different climatic conditions. Four of these have been termed "geographic races" in forestry literature. Some botanists historically treated some races as distinct species. In modern botanical usage, they best match the rank of subspecies and have been formally published. [9] [10]

Subspecies and varieties

Four corners transition zone including southern Colorado, southern Utah, northern and central New Mexico and Arizona, westernmost Texas, and a single disjunct population in the far northwestern Oklahoma panhandle. [25] The Gila Wilderness contains one of the world's largest and healthiest forests. [26] Hot with bimodal monsoonal rainfall; wet winters and summers contrast with dry springs and falls; mild winters.
Western coastal parts of Washington State; Oregon west of the Cascade Range except for the southward-extending Umpqua–Tahoe Transition Zone; California except for both that transition zone and the Transverse-Tehahchapi Mountains Transition zone in southern California and Critchfield's far Southern California Race. Mediterranean hot, dry summers in California; mild wet winters with heavy snow in mountains.
100–2,700 m (330–8,860 ft) on coastal-draining slopes of major mountain ranges in California, and in southwestern Oregon, Washington. [27]
Southeast British Columbia, eastern Washington State and Oregon east of the Cascade Range, 1,200–1,900 m (3,900–6,200 ft) in northeastern California, Arizona, northwestern Nevada, Idaho and west of the Helena, Montana, transition zone. Cool, relatively moist summers; very cold, snowy winters (except in the very hot and very dry summers of central Oregon, most notably near Bend, which also has very cold and generally dry winters). [30] [31]
Southern South Dakota and adjacent northern Nebraska and far eastern Colorado, but neither the northern and southern High Plains nor the Black Hills, which are in P. p. scopulorun. Hot, dry, very windy summers; continental cold, wet winters.
East of the Helena, Montana, transition zone, North & South Dakota, but not the central high plains, Wyoming, Nebraska, northern and central Colorado and Utah, and eastern Nevada. Warm, relatively dry summers; very cold, fairly dry winters.
Predominantly in northeastern California, and into Nevada and Oregon, at 2,000–3,000 m (6,600–9,800 ft), upper mixed-conifer to lower subalpine habitats. [34] [35]

Distributions of the subspecies in the United States are shown in shadow on the map. Distribution of ponderosa pine is from Critchfield and Little. [36] The closely related five-needled Arizona pine (Pinus arizonica) extends southward into Mexico.

Before the distinctions between the North Plateau race and the Pacific race were fully documented, most botanists assumed that ponderosa pines in both areas were the same. When a botanist and a geneticist from California found in 1948 a distinct tree on Mt. Rose in western Nevada with some marked differences from the ponderosa pine they knew in California, they described it as a new species, Washoe pine Pinus washoensis. Subsequent research determined this to be one of the southern-most outliers of the typical North Plateau race of ponderosa pine. [9] :30–31 [37] [38] [39] Its current classification is Pinus ponderosa var. washoensis. [33] [34] [35]

An additional variety, tentatively named P. p. var. willamettensis, found in the Willamette Valley in western Oregon, is rare. [40] This is likely just one of the many islands of Pacific subspecies of ponderosa pine occurring in the Willamette Valley and extending north to the southeast end of Puget Sound in Washington.

Distinguishing subspecies

The subspecies of P. ponderosa can be distinguished by measurements along several dimensions: [9] :23–24 [10] :17

 Common name Pacific  Columbia  Rocky Mountains  Southwestern  Central High Plains 
 Scientific name P. p. critchfieldiana  P. p. ponderosa  P. p. scopulorum  P. p. brachyptera  P. p. readiana 
 Years needles remain green 3.9±0.25, N=30  4.7±0.14, N=50  5.7±0.28, N=23  4.3±0.18, N=24  4.7±0.18, N=5 
 Foliage length on branch (cm) 25.1±2.4, N=30  26.2±2.2, N=50  21.1±1.7, N=23  21.8±2.7, N=24  42.2±6.7, N=5 
 Needle length (cm) 19.8±0.44, N=30  16.8±0.29, N=48  11.2±0.27, N=23  14.7±0.45, N=24  15.6±0.57, N=5 
 Needles per fascicle 3.0±0.00, N=30  3.0±0.00, N=48  2.6±0.06, N=23  3.0±0.03, N=24  2.4±0.11, N=5 
 Needle thickness 45.9±0.49, N=30  47.8±0.51, N=48  46.4±0.68, N=23  44.8±0.87, N=24  49.7±0.61, N=5 
 Branches per whorl 4.4±0.13, N=30  3.7±0.11, N=50  3.0±0.17, N=23  3.4±0.25, N=23  2.3±0.11, N=5 
 Branch angle (° from vertical) 56±1.8, N=30  51±1.7, N=50  50±2.3, N=23  48±3.1, N=24  36±1.9, N=5 
 Seed cones length (mm) 101.4±2.48, N=25  88.7±1.24, N=36  70.7±2.20, N=22  74.9±2.51, N=20  71.1±2.46, N=5 
 Seed cones width (mm) 77.1±1.35, N=25  71.6±0.73, N=36  61.5±1.08, N=22  62.6±1.77, N=20  63.3±2.18, N=5 
 Seed cone form W/L 0.80±0.03, N=25  0.84±0.03, N=36  0.90±0.02, N=22  0.86±0.02, N=20  0.90±0.03, N=5 
 Seed length (mm) 7.5±0.08, N=23  7.6±0.16, N=14  6.3±0.09, N=17  6.4±0.18, N=16  7.0±0.12, N=5 
 Seed width (mm) 4.9±0.05, N=23  4.9±0.08, N=14  4.1±0.05, N=17  4.3±0.09, N=16  4.5±0.10, N=5 
 Seed + wing length (mm) 32.3±0.58, N=23  24.8±0.62, N=14  22.9±0.63, N=17  23.3±0.68, N=15  23.1±0.78, N=5 
 Mature cone color [41]  apple green to yellow green green & red-brown to dark purple green & red-brown to dark purple  green & red-brown to dark purple

Notes

Names of taxa and transition zones are on the map.
Numbers in columns were derived from multiple measurements of samples taken from 10 (infrequently fewer) trees on a varying number of geographically dispersed plots.
Numbers in each cell show calculated mean ± standard error and number of plots.

Symbols

"Official state tree of Montana. Montana schoolchildren selected the ponderosa pine over the Douglas fir, American larch, and cottonwood as Montana"s state tree in 1908, but it was not made official until 1949" -- Statesymbolsusa.org

See also

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References

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