Did you know?

High elevation white pines are very slow growing; for some species it can take 30-50 years for a seedling to mature to become a seed-bearing tree.

DISTRIBUTION

Geographic Distribution

Geographic Distribution of High Elevation White Pines High elevation white pines are scattered throughout the western United States and Southwestern Canada. Limber pine has a broad distribution occupying a variety of geographic locations throughout the west from the grassland treeline to the alpine treeline. Whitebark pine is primarily found at high elevation and timberline zones in the northern mountains of North America. Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine, Great Basin bristlecone pine and foxtail pine have narrower geographic and elevational distributions.

Click on name for distribution maps:
Foxtail Pine
Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine
Limber pine
Great Basin bristlecone pine
Whitebark pine

Distribution by Species

Species

Locations

Rocky Mountain Bristlecone

Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona

Great Basin Bristlecone

California, Utah, Nevada

Foxtail Pine

Endemic to California

Limber Pine

California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Alberta, British Colombia, and isolated populations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska

Whitebark Pine

California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Alberta, and British Colombia

There is no overlap in distribution between the ranges of Great Basin bristlecone, Rocky Mountain bristlecone, and foxtail pines.

Referred Literature: 84, 5, 2, 3, 4, 102,103

Elevational Distribution

Elevational Distribution of High Elevation White PinesHigh elevation is a relative concept. In southern Colorado high elevation may start around 10,000 ft (3,000 m) above sea level whereas in coastal British Colombia 3,000 ft (1,000 m) would be considered high elevation. Treelines around the world vary in elevation but are all characterized by having a similar mean July temperature of about 13 deg C (55.4 o F).

Treeline for High Elevation White PineTreelines mark the limits of where trees can grow; they are the transition from forest to alpine habitats. As the elevation increases the sites become increasingly harsh. For example, temperatures and growing season length decrease, while precipitation, snow depth, and solar radiation increase. The high elevation pines are one of a handful of trees that commonly form treelines in western North America.

Find the elevational distribution of high elevation white pines near you.

ARIZONA

NEW MEXICO

CALIFORNIA

OREGON

COLORADO

UTAH

IDAHO

WASHINGTON

MONTANA

WYOMING

NEVADA

CANADA


Arizona

Elevational Distribution

Arizona

Tree

Elevation Range

Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine

9,500 - 12,000 ft
2,900 - 3,700 m

Limber pine

 

Referred Literature: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 23, 125

California

Elevational Distribution

California

Species

Elevation Range

Great Basin bristlecone pine

7,200 - 12,000 ft
2,200 - 3,700 m

Northern foxtail pine

6,500 - 8,200 ft
2,100 - 2,500 m

Southern foxtail pine

8,900 - 12,000 ft
2,700 - 3,700 m

Limber pine

7,500 - 11,000 ft
2,290 - 3,350 m

Whitebark pine

7,000 - 12,100 ft
2,100 - 3,700 m

Colorado

Elevational Distribution

Colorado

Species

Elevation Range

Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine

7,000 - 13,000 ft
2,100 - 4,000 m

Limber pine

5,000 - 12,500 ft
1,500 - 3,800 m

Idaho

Elevational Distribution

Idaho

Species

Elevation Range

Whitebark pine

7,300 - 10,500 ft
2,225 - 3,200 m

Limber pine

 

Montana

Elevational Distribution

Montana

Species

Elevation Range

Limber pine

4,000 - 6,000 ft
1,200 - 1,800 m

Whitebark pine

5,900 - 9,300 ft
1,800 - 2,830 m

Nevada

Elevational Distribution

Nevada

Species

Elevation Range

Great Basin bristlecone pine

6,760 - 11,600 ft
2060 - 3535 m

Limber pine

6,000 - 11,500 ft
1830 - 3505 m

Whitebark pine

6,800 - 10,750 ft
2070 - 3275 m

New Mexico

Elevational Distribution

New Mexico

Species

Elevation Range

Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine

10,000 - 12,000 ft
3,000 - 3,700 m

Limber pine

 

Oregon

Elevational Distribution

Oregon

Species

Elevation Range

Whitebark pine

3,600 - 9,500 ft
1,100 - 2,900 m

Limber pine

5,000 - 7,000 ft
1,500 - 2,100 m

Utah

Elevational Distribution

Utah

Species

Elevation Range

Great Basin bristlecone pine

7,200 - 10,700 ft
2,195 - 3,265 m

Limber pine

6,000 - 11,600 ft
1,830 - 3,540 m

Washington

Elevational Distribution

Washington

Species

Elevation Range

Whitebark pine

5,700 - 8,500 ft
1,700 - 2,600 m

Wyoming

Elevational Distribution

Wyoming

Species

Elevation Range

Whitebark pine

7,300 - 10,500 ft
2,225 - 3,200 m

Limber pine

 

Canada

Elevational Distribution

Canada

Species

Elevation Range

Whitebark pine  

Limber pine

 

Places To See High Elevation White Pines

High elevation white pines enhance the natural beauty of many national parks, forests and natural areas. There are many places to see them. Here is list:

Arizona

California

Colorado

Idaho

Montana

Nevada

New Mexico

Oregon

Utah

Washington

Wyoming

Canada


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