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Northern Arizona Universtiy Arboretum

Brad Blake
Northern Arizona University.
PO Box 4087
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
Phone (928) 523-9100
Fax (928) 523-1075
Email Brad Blake

Philip Patterson
Northern Arizona University
PO Box 4087
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
Email Phillip Patterson

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Pinyon Pine

pinyon pinePinus edulis

Pinyon pine, native to Arizona and much of the West, commonly occurs in mixed stands of juniper to form the pinyon-juniper woodlands and is the state tree of New Mexico. Pinyon pine is typically a small bushy to 20 feet tall and 8 inches in diameter, with a short trunk and rounded, open crown. The largest pinyon pine grows near Cuba, New Mexico, and is 69 feet tall with a circumference of 17 feet 9 inches.

Numerous birds and mammals use the foliage for shelter or eat the highly nutritious seeds. Many Native American groups have relied on pinyon nuts as a food source for thousands of years and now export these delicacies to markets throughout the world. In 1940, 16 boxcar loads (60,000 pounds) of pinyon nuts were shipped from Flagstaff to New York City, where they were sold like salted peanuts by street vendors. Today, consumers pay a premium price for products such as pine-nut butter, pesto, roasted pinyon nuts, and pinyon coffee. Raw or roasted pinyon nuts cost between $5 and $10 per pound, depending on the harvest.

For more information on Pinyon Pine, visit the links below:

USDA Plants Profile
Virginia Tech Department of Forestry
The Natural History of North America



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2009 Arizona Board of Regents, Northern Arizona University
South San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011