Pine, Red

Pine, RedPine, Red — The Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) is a pine native to northeastern North America, occurring from Newfoundland west to southeast Manitoba, and south to northern Illinois and Pennsylvania, with a small outlying population in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. In the Upper Midwest of the United States it is sometimes known by the confusing name Norway Pine even though it is not native to Norway.

It is an evergreen tree characterized by tall, straight growth in a variety of habitats. It usually ranges from 20-35 m in height and 1 m in trunk diameter, but can exceed that in optimal conditions, exceptionally reaching 43 m tall (Gymnosperm Database). The crown is conical in young trees, becoming a narrow rounded dome with age. The bark is thick and gray-brown at the base of the tree, but thin, flaky and bright orange-red in the upper crown; the tree’s name derives from this distinctive character. Some red color may be seen in the fissures of the bark. Red Pine is self pruning; there tend not to be dead branches on the trees, and older trees may have very long lengths of branchless trunk below the canopy.

The leaves are needle-like, dark green, in fascicles of two, 12-18 cm long, and brittle. The leaves snap cleanly when bent; this character, stated as diagnostic for Red Pine in some texts, is however shared by several other pine species. The cones are symmetrical ovoid, 4-6 cm long, 2.5 cm broad and green before maturity, ripening nut-brown and opening to 4-5 cm broad, the scales without a prickle and almost stalkless.

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