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The Western Pitch Pine P


P. Coulteri, D. Don.

The Western pitch pine, most abundant in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains, at elevations of about a mile above the sea, has cones not unlike those of the digger pine, in the armament of their scales. These are notable by being the heaviest fruits borne by any pine tree. Occasionally they exceed fifteen inches in length and weigh eight pounds. The seeds are one-half an inch in length, not counting the thin wing, which is often an inch long.

The leaves of this "big-cone" pine match the cones. They are stout, stiff, dark blue-green, six to sixteen inches long, three in a bundle, which has a sheath an inch or more in length. Crowded on the ends of the branches, these

leaves would entitle this tree to qualify as a "fox-tail" pine, except for the fact that the foliage persists into the third and fourth year, which clothes the branches far back toward the trunk and gives the tree a luxuriant crown. The dry slopes and ridges of the Coast Ranges of California are beautified by small groves and scattered specimens of this striking and picturesque pine, so unlike its neighbors. Its wood is used only for fuel. In Euro pean countries this is a popular ornamental pine, planted chiefly for its great golden-brown cones.

tree and cones