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Fun Facts on Remarkable Pines of California

Fun Facts on Remarkable Pines of California by J. Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Check out which is the tallest or the longest-lived or the rarest of the pines in California:

The tallest pine in the world.
Sugar pine, Pinus lambertiana. Grows to 200 feet tall, 5 feet diameter.

The longest-lived pine.
The longest-lived individual trees known are bristlecone pine, Pinus longaeva. Grow in California's White Mountains. Can live over 4000 years. The oldest found alive was "Methuselah," found in 1957 to be 4,723 years old .

The Fastest Pines in the Wild.
Several pines (Pinus spp.) grow quickly in the wild. But quite outclassed by:
(1) Eastern cottonwood, Populus deltoides (can add 10-15 ft annually);
(2) Coast redwood, Sequoia sempervirens (can add 4-6 ft annually).

The Fastest Tamed Pine.
Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) can grow more than 3 ft. in height annually in plantations, and up to 1" in diameter annually. May reach 70 ft. high with 10 in. diameter in 25 years.
(Domesticated trees grown in plantations are genetically selected for rapid growth and are grown with artificially added nutrients.)

The Rarest Pine.
Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana) has the smallest range of any North American pine: there are only two small stands on the coast of California. See Torrey Pines State Park.

Book Choice: Ronald M. Lanner's Conifers of California

Resources - Related pages.