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The Two Foxtail Pines


Two Western pines are distinguished by the common name "foxtail pine," because the leaves are crowded on the ends of bare branchlets. P. Balfouriana, M. Murr., has stiff, stout dark green leaves with pale linings. The tree is wonderfully picturesque when old, with an open irregular pyramid, on the higher foothills of the California mountains, or crouching as an aged straggling shrub at the timber-line. Its cones are elongated, the scales thick ened and minutely spiny at tip.

The second five-leaved foxtail pine is P. aristata, En gelm., also called the "prickle-cone pine," from the curving spines that arm the scales of the purplish brown fruits.

This is a bushy tree, with sprawling lower branches and upper ones that stand erect and are usually much longer, giving the tree a strange irregularity of form. The leaves are short and crowded in terminal brushes. From a stocky tree forty feet high, to a shrub at the timber line, this tree is found near the limit of tree growth, from the outer ranges of the mountains of Colorado to those of southern Utah, Nevada, northern Arizona and southeastern Cali fornia. In Eastern parks it is occasionally seen as a shrubby pine with unusually interesting, artistic cones.

tree and pine