Group A - Pines - Winter Tree Identification


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Pinus aristata

Bristlecone pine

thorn-like tips on pine scales
© 2008 Steve Baskauf


  • 5 needles per fasicle
  • tufted appearance
  • white resinous flecks on needles
  • retention of several years of needles



Pinus banksiana

Jack pine

Pinus banksiana - Jack pine tree branches, leaves and cones in winter

  • cones generally curve toward the branch and point toward the tip of the branch
  • cones may remain sealed and on the branch for many years

  • 2 needles per fasicle
  • needles form a "v" may have a slight twist
  • needles yellow-green in winter
  • needles short



Pinus cembra

Swiss stone pine

  • cones are nearly round
  • cone scales generally remain closed even after falling to the ground
  • large wingless seeds

  • 5 needles per fasicle
  • stomatal lines on underside
  • serrated margins
  • new stems covered with orange-brown hairs




Pinus densiflora

Japanese red pine

Tanyosho Pine

  • cones are very small

  • 2 needles per fasicle
  • twisted, soft and serrated
  • bright green needle

  • bark peels to reveal a reddish color


Pinus flexilis

Limber pine

  • seeds are NOT winged
  • cones are noticeably heavier than Pinus strobus

Pinus flexilis - Limber pine

  • 5 needles per fasicle
  • stems noticeably stouter than Pinus strobus




Pinus mugo

Mugo pine

  • 2 needles per fasicle
  • ends of branches curve upward

Pinus mugo - Swiss Mountain Pine or Mugo Pine habit



Pinus nigra

Austrian pine

Pinus nigra - Austrian Pine dried, open cone

Pinus nigra - Austrian Pine leaves and terminal buds
  • 2 needles per fasicle
  • Large white and brown bud with floret appearance
Pinus nigra - Austrian Pine form



Pinus ponderosa

Ponderosa pine

  • oval cone
  • sharp often recursive prickles

Pinus ponderosa - Ponderosa pine tree needles

  • 3 or 2 needles per fasicle
  • needles minutely serrated
  • needles sharply pointed
Pinus ponderosa - Ponderosa pine tree habit


Pinus resinosa

Red pine


  • 2 needles per fasicle
  • needles snap easily when bent

  • bark peels to reveal a reddish color




Pinus strobus

Eastern White Pine

  • 5 needles per fasicle



Pinus sylvestris

Scotch pine

  • 2 needles per fasicle
  • needles have twist

  • bark peels to reveal a reddish-orange color

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Karren Wcisel © copyright 2004 - 2011

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