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Ponderosa pine, Yellow pine · Pinus ponderosa
Description:A massive, fast-growing pine up to 200 feet tall common east of the Cascade crest. Ponderosa, or yellow, pine grows in pure stands and with Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, and western larch; it can also be found in western valleys of the Willamette, Umpqua, and Rogue rivers. Its 5 inch long needles grow in threes, cones are up to 6 inches long, and the bark is fissured and platey. An excellent tree for large spaces, especially drier areas of the Northwest.
From the jounals of Lewis and Clark May 11, 1805, from Fort Peck Lake in Montana: "saw today some high hills on the Stard. whose summits were covered with pine. Capt Clark went on shore and visited them; he brought with him on his return som of the boughs of this pine it is of the pitch kind but I think the leaves somewhat longer than ours in Virginia." In their journals the exlorers referred to Ponderosa pine as "long-leafed pine". They used the wood of Ponderosas to make canoes; from October 2, 1805: "day excesively hot in the river bottom wind North, Burning out the hotter of our canoes." Species collected on October 1 still exist.