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Coulter Pine Pinus coulteri


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Alternate name: Bigcone Pine

Family: Pinaceae, Pine view all from this family

Description Geographically isolated, native evergreen tree. Crown pyramidal, dense or open. Trunk erect, vertical. Branches horizontal, upcurved. Bark thick, roughly furrowed at maturity. Needles 3 per bundle, gray-green, 15-30 cm. (6-12 in.) long and stout, 2 mm. (0.01 in) thick. Young trees first bear cones on trunk. Mature trees bear cones on strong branches. Cones large, spiny, 20-40 cm. (8-16 in.) long, and weigh 2-5 kg (4-10 lb.s) when fresh.

Dimensions Height: 10-24 m (30-80 ft)
Diameter: 1 m (3 ft).

Habitat Canyons & valleys, Mountains.

Range California.

Discussion Coulter Pines produce the largest cones of any pine tree species (people are actually advised to wear hardhats when working in Coulter Pine groves), although the slender cones of the sugar pine are longer. Large size of the cones has earned them the nickname "widowmakers" among locals. Wood is weak and soft, little used other than for firewood. Occasionally planted as an ornamental tree in parks and large gardens.