This under-used pine, native to the Western U.S., is more tolerant of alkaline soils than the Eastern white pine. The dark blue green needles help this tree stand out in the landscape.
- Evergreen (foliage year-round)
- North America
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Dry sites
- Occasional drought
- Alkaline soil
- Acid soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Early winter
- Mid winter
- Late winter
- Early spring
- Mid spring
- Late spring
- Early summer
- Mid summer
- Late summer
- Early fall
- Mid fall
- Late fall
Size & Form
30 to 50 feet high and 20 to 35 feet wide.
Broadly pyramidal in youth, becoming more flat-topped with ascending branches as it ages.
Tree & Plant Care
Best in full sun with moist, well-drained soils; tolerant of part shade.
Adaptable to dry soil and windy once established.
Better tolerant of salt spray than other 5-needled pines.
Disease, pest, and problem
Less troubled by pests and diseases than other pines.
Disease, pest and problem resistance
Branches are flexible and less prone to storm damage.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to the Rocky Mountains in Western U.S. and Canada
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Birds use this tree for shelter
Bark color and texture
Young trees have smooth, light gray bark. Older trees develop a blocky, scaly texture and turn grayish brown.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Needles are 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches long, in bundles of 5 and tend to be clustered at tips of branches.
The dark bluish-green needles slightly curved or twisted, persisting 5 to 6 years.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Monoecious, male flowers clustered, female flowers solitary or in 2's or 3's
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Cones are 3 to 6 inches long, upright at youth, turning pendulous at maturity.
Cultivars and their differences
Vanderwolf’s Pyramid (Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’ ): This cultivar is faster growing than the species and has a very upright pyramidal habit. The needles are a bright blue-green color and twisted.