Did you know?

Leaves (needles) of high elevation white pines can be retained on branches and functional for up to 40 years.

IDENTIFICATION

There are more than a hundred species of pine in the world. Distinguishing between the high elevation white pines in western North America can be challenging. Here are a few tips on how to do it.

Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine Foxtail Pine

Rocky Mountain bristlecone pineFoxtail pine

Limber pine Whitebark pine

Limber pine Whitebark pine

Great Basin bristlecone pine

Great Basin bristlecone pine

Location - The best ways to narrow down your options is to use location maps. However, in some areas two or more 5 - needle white pine species may coexist or grow close together.

Other Distinguishing Factors - When the two or more 5 - needle pines coexist in the same area use these tips:

Limber, Whitebark, versus Great Basin bristlecone

Limber pine:

Whitebark pine:

Great Basin bristlecone pine:

Limber versus Whitebark
Limber pine:

Whitebark pine:

Limber versus Rocky Mountain Bristlecone

Limber pine:

Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine:

Learn more about the physical characteristics of these high elevation white pines.

Links on tree identification

The National Arbor Day Foundation website
Distinguishing pines of the Southern Rocky Mountains
Distinguishing Great Basin Bristlecone pines from Limber Pines

Sources: 100,101


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