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Knobcone Pine Pinus attenuata


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Family: Pinaceae, Pine view all from this family

Description Rapidly growing pine with straight, typically multiple trunks. Crown dense and conical, opening broadly with maturity. Branches stout and whorled. Bark smooth, flaky, shallowly furrowed into flat scaly ridges, gray-brown when young, dark gray-red-brown with age. Twigs red-brown, resinous. Needles in bundles of three, yellow-green, twisted, and 9-15 cm long. Cones 8-16 cm long, clustered in whorls of three to six on the branches. Scales end in a short stout prickle. Seeds black, 6 mm (1/4 in) long, wing 2.5 -3 cm (1-1 1/4 in) long.

Dimensions Height: 9-24 m. (30-80 ft)
Diameter: 0.3-0.8 m. (1-2 1/2 ft).

Habitat Mountains.

Range California, Northwest.

Discussion Reproduction controlled exclusively by fire; trees occur in even-aged stands dating back to most recent fire. Unburned knobcone pine cones remain closed even after trees have decayed and fallen. Cones are sealed with a hard resin that requires high temperatures to liquefy, boil, and vaporize. Cone scales open gradually following heating, when the ground has cooled. Cones often remain closed for many years until a fire opens them and allows reseeding, as a result cones may become embedded in the trunk as the tree grows. Seeds enclosed in cones for 27 to 60 years have proved viable.