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Northern Arizona University 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
(928) 523-9103
Email Philip Patterson

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Ponderosa Pine

ponderosa pinePinus ponderosa var. scopulorum

Arizona Native

With the most widespread distribution of any North American pine, ponderosa pine can be found from northern Mexico north to British Columbia and from Nebraska, west to California. Flagstaff is at the edge of the most extensive, contiguous ponderosa pine forest on earth. This photo is of a relatively young, 175-year-old ponderosa pine. A ponderosa felled in Colorado during the early part of the twentieth century had a recorded age of 1047 years.

In Arizona, these trees can grow to 180 feet in height and four feet in diameter. A 65-inch diameter ponderosa was harvested in 1904, south of Flagstaff.

The record intermountain ponderosa pine is on the Lolo National Forest in Montana; it is 194 feet tall with a circumference of 20 feet, 1 inch.

As well as being a popular ornamental, ponderosa pine is second only to Douglas fir as a lumbe-producing species in North America. Native Americans used the tree in for corrals, fences, sweathouses, and roof beams. Large tree trunks were hollowed out to make canoes. The wood was also used for smaller items, such as cradleboards.

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

Virginia Tech University Department of Forestry


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