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Lodgepole Pine

Pinus contorta 'var. latifolia'

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Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta 'var. latifolia') at Cashman Nursery

Lodgepole Pine

Lodgepole Pine

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta 'var. latifolia') at Cashman Nursery

Lodgepole Pine foliage

Lodgepole Pine foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  60 feet

Spread:  25 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  3a

Other Names:  Twisted Pine, Contorta Pine


A tall, narrow evergreen of the Rocky Mountains, with a rather open and loose habit; does extremely well on poor, dry soils, makes a good windbreak, becomes a rugged character tree with maturity

Ornamental Features

Lodgepole Pine is primarily valued in the landscape for its distinctively pyramidal habit of growth. It has rich green evergreen foliage. The needles remain green throughout the winter. The shaggy brick red bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Lodgepole Pine is an open evergreen tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree. When pruning is necessary, it is recommended to only trim back the new growth of the current season, other than to remove any dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Lodgepole Pine is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Vertical Accent
  • Windbreaks and Shelterbelts

Planting & Growing

Lodgepole Pine will grow to be about 60 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 5 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 100 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selection of a native North American species.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Articulation  Windbreak 
Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features