Characteristics of Jeffrey Pine Tree (Pinus jeffreyi) in the Wild

Pinus jeffreyi
Jeffrey pine is a species of a pine tree from North America. This tree is found growing in California, but also in some of the most western parts of Nevada, southwest Oregon, and northern Baja California. The tree is named Pinus jeffreyi in honor of the botanical documentary John Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Pine is closely related to Blackjack Pine (Pinus ponderosa) and has a similar appearance. One way to tell the difference is with the cones.

Jeffrey pine scents are described as being like vanilla, lemon, pineapple, violet, or apple scents. This scent can be identified by breaking the shoots or by smelling the sap of the bark.

 

Characteristics of Jeffrey Pine Leaf

Pinus jeffreyi Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Jerry Oldenettel

The leaves are needle-like, in bundles of three, gray-green, and 12-23 cm long. The tops of adult trees are conical in shape, most of which persist for hundreds of years.

 

Characteristics of Jeffrey Pine Fruit

Pinus jeffreyi Fruit
Source : flickr.com/Tammo Reichgelt

The fruit is 12-24 cm long, dark purple when young, and bright brown when ripe.

 

Characteristics of Jeffrey Pine Tree

Pinus jeffreyi Tree
Source : flickr.com/alice cummings

Jeffrey pine is a large conifer tree, its height can reach 35-40 meters (rarely 50 meters). Old tree bark is usually dark brownish red, rough, and grooved. The young branches have light brown to grayish-blue bark.

Jeffrey pine grows naturally in the highlands at an altitude of 1,500-3,000 m above sea level. The tree is tolerant of cold temperatures, extreme heat, storms, and it can even live in serpentine soils.

The largest surviving Jeffrey pine specimen named “Smoky Jack” grows on Tioga Pass Road in Yosemite National Park, California. The tree reaches 56.7 meters in height, 2.27 meters in diameter, and the volume of wood is 116 m³.

 

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