Ponderosa PinePinus ponderosa
Rugged-looking. Lean. Enduring. If a tree could personify the West, it would surely have to be the ponderosa pine. Writer Arthur Plotnik even called it “a Clint Eastwood of a tree.” Montana has selected it as the state tree. It even lent its name to the ranch in the long-running western TV series “Bonanza.”
The ponderosa pine is also one of America’s most abundant tree species. It is a mainstay in the lumber industry but has also been put to work in windbreaks, buffer strips, reclamation and mass landscape plantings. Its fast growth and interesting features also make for a popular specimen or ornamental tree.