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PINUS albicaulis

Image of Pinus albicaulis

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

PINUS albicaulis

Plant Common Name

Alpine Whitebark Pine, Whitebark Pine

General Description

This small dense evergreen tree comes from high altitudes in western North America. It is closely allied to limber pine (Pinus flexilis), which is sometimes sold under its name.

The stout, deep green to yellow-green needles of this pine are held in bundles of five toward the tips of long flexible branches. The needles have conspicuous white lines on their upper surface. In spring, trees produce tiny male cones and large scaly female cones on the previous year's growth. The egg-shaped, purple and brown female cones remain on the tree until harvested by animals, which eat the edible seeds hidden beneath the scales.

This pine grows slowly into a wide-spreading sometimes multi-trunked small tree. Its bark becomes pale gray and scaly with age.

This cold-hardy, drought-tolerant tree favors full sun and well-drained soil. It fares poorly in hot humid climates. Its informal habit suits it for use in naturalistic settings, either singly or in groups. Like many other five-needle pines it is vulnerable to white pine blister rust, a fungal disease accidentally introduced from Europe.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    20'-45' / 6.1m - 13.7m

  • Width

    20'-45' / 6.1m - 13.7m

  • Native To

    Western United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No