Pinus resinosa

Pinus resinosa red pine

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

This is a tall northern conifer with needles in bundles of two. These needles tend to be 3-8 inches long, thus longer than those usually found in the otherwise similar Scotch pine. The needles are thin - less than 1/16 inch across and brittle. They are usually dark green in color. Older needles turn brown in the autumn before falling off. Older branches on mature trees also fall off leaving a length of trunk before the lowest living branches.

The immature male cones are dark purple and the female ones are scarlet. The mature seed cones are 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches long and the cone scales have no thorns. The trunk is usually straight. The upper bark can have a red-brown coloration. Although there is a rare dwarf form, the tree usually reaches a height of 50 to 80 feet. The trunk diameter is 1-2 feet. The similar loblolly and shortleaf pines are more southern trees with little overlap in range.

The red pine is a beautiful tree and is often used for reforestation. It is not shade-tolerant, but can grow well in cold, windy areas. DNA studies show a very low genetic diversity, suggesting that, perhaps during the ice age, its population was very small. The lumber is used for pulp, shipbuilding, general construction and piling. It is oddly sometimes called the Norway pine, but is native only to North America. Its normal range is around the northern Great Lakes, New England and the St. Lawrence Valley. It is not native to most of the state but is frequently planted here.

Contributed by: Mark Welchley

Grows on dry slopes and mountain tops.

Mostly found in central and north-central parts of the state.

Wetland codes

Flowers in mid-spring.

S-rank:  No rank
G-rank:  G5 (Secure)

Pinus resinosa red pine

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA
Pinus resinosa gallery
Plant Life-Form
evergreen tree
Common Names