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Tree Campus: Ponderosa pine

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Ponderosa Pine

Pinus ponderosa (PINACEAE)



W. North America



"Seeds are mostly wind dispersed and do not usually carry more than 120 feet (37 m) from the parent tree. Seeds cached by rodents may result in some seedling establishment. Clark's nutcrackers play a minor but important role in seed dispersal because seeds they cache are more likely to establish than rodent-cached seeds.

Ponderosa pine snags provide sites for cavity-nesting birds and mammals... Mule deer in Colorado use open-canopy ponderosa pine/grassland habitat for feeding." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"Ponderosa pine is valued as a drought-resistant ornamental. It is widely planted for windbreaks, especially on the plains grasslands.

Native Americans ate ponderosa pine seeds and the sweet, edible phloem in the inner bark. The Cheyenne of Montana applied Rocky Mountain ponderosa pine pitch inside whistles and flutes to improve the instruments' tone. They made blue dye from a root extract. The Nez Perce used the pitch as a torch fuel; the Nez Perce and Crow also used pitch as glue."



"Ponderosa pine is the most commercially valuable and productive timber tree in the inland west and Southwest. High-quality logs are used for high-grade boards and a wide variety of other products including cabinets, molding, and cut stock. Lower-quality logs are used for dimension lumber and other construction products." [1]



[1] Howard, Janet L. 2003. Pinus ponderosa var. brachyptera, P. p. var. scopulorum. In: Fire Effects Information System,. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: /database/feis/plants/tree/pinpons/all.html.

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