File:Pinus contorta 28289.JPG
Pinus contorta - Bark - lodgepole pine Pinus contorta - Twig - lodgepole pine Blackfoot Tipi Village near Browning
Common Name Lodgepole Pine
Latin Name Pinus contorta
Family Pinaceae
Sunset zones / USDA zones  
Type / Form Tree / Large
Native Habitat Slopes of mountains of  western U. S. and Canada from 3,000 to 8,000 feet
Soil Dry to moist, decomposed granite, sand, clay loam, limestone, low to some organic content, well drained
Water Once to twice per month depending on soil in hot weather
Exposure Full sun
Height X Width To 40 feet X 15 feet , 150 feet tall unusual
Protective Mechanism None
Leaves Evergreen needles, 1 1/2 to 3 inches long in fascicles of two, twisted, fascicle sheath present; yellow-green to green.
Flowers Monoecious; males are yellow, cylindrical and clustered at branch tips; females reddish purple at branch tips in the upper crown. Woody cone, 1 to 2 inches long, often asymmetrical and becoming lumpy near the base, apophysis armed with a short spine; light brown to brown; may remain closed for several years.
Bark / Roots Thin, typically grayish brown but can be very dark with many small close scales. Orange-brown, turning darker with age, needles are persistent for several years; buds are narrowly ovoid, reddish brown and resinous.
Maintenance Low
Propagation Seed (Commerially available seed recommended)
Rests and diseases The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) is the most severe insect pest.  Another aggressive bark beetle that attacks lodgepole pine is the pine engraver (Ips pini). Also the lodgepole terminal weevil (Pissodes terminalis), larvae of the Warren's collar weevil (Hylobius warreni), larvae of the weevil Magdalis gentilis, which mine branches; various sucking insects, such as the pine needle scale (Chionaspis pinifoliae), the black pineleaf scale (Nuculaspis californica), and the spruce spider mite (Oligonychus ununguis); and several defoliating insects, among which are the lodgepole sawfly (Neodiprion burkei), the lodgepole needle miner (Coleotechnites milleri), the sugar pine tortrix (Choristoneura lambertiana), the pine tube moth (Argyrotaenia pinatubana), and the pandora moth (Coloradia pandora).  Dwarf mistletoe (particularly Arceuthobium americanum) is the most widespread and serious parasite affecting lodgepole pine.
Landscape uses Erosion control, low maintenance, background
Garden Suitability Thornless, Songbird, Fragrant, Mountain
Ornamental Value Dark green needles, slender conical shape
Nature Value Nuts eaten by squirrels
Native American Uses Nuts eaten raw or baked, long needles used to make pine needle baskets, lodge poles (tipi poles)
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    Nursery, images and data
    Nursery Oak Hills Nursery, 13874 Ranchero Road, Oak Hills, 92345, 760-947-6261
    Distribution map
Note: Moderate pollinator and high fuel factor = fire danger