General: Ponderosa Pines (Pinus ponderosa) are coniferous (cone-bearing) trees with long, roundish needles set in bundles of 3, and the bundles radiate in all directions around the twigs. The cones are egg-shaped and about 5-inches long.
In Nevada, Ponderosa Pine is the dominant component of the montane vegetation in the Spring and Sheep mountains in the Transition (Yellow Pine Forests) life zone. This species also occurs in the Mormon Mountains and is more common north of the Las Vegas region.
Family: Pine (Pinaceae).
Other Names: Pacific Ponderosa Pine.
Plant Form: Tall, straight tree without lower branches when mature; broad, spreading crown.
Height: To 125 feet tall.
Trunk: To 4 feet in diameter.
Bark: Young trees: dark brown; mature trees: light brown to orange; irregular fissures forming plates.
Branches: In mature trees, absent from lower trunk; broad and spreading higher up.
Needles: Bundles of 3; 5 to 10 inches long; dark green; sheath persistent.
Cones: 3-1/2 to 7 inches long; oval; light brown. Scales tipped with spine.
Habitat: Middle-elevation mountain slopes and canyons.
Elevation: 6,000 to 7,500 feet.
Distribution: California to British Columbia, Montana, and Nebraska, south into northern Mexico.