Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Western Yellow Pine Tree

Western yellow pine tree is a lush, hearty See more pictures of trees.

Western yellow pine tree, also called ponderosa pine, may have the most well-known name of any tree. It rings a bell with millions of people world wide who may not have seen the tree or even known it is a pine. But it was made famous by the popular television show Bonanza. Ponderosa is Spanish for ponderous (heavy, enormous), a name given for the tree's huge size at maturity.

Trees Image Gallery

Description or western yellow pine tree: This western pine bears bundles of two to three persistent needles from 5 to 11 inches long. They are an attractive yellow-green. The ponderosa pine grows as a narrow pyramid when young, then develops a bare trunk with a cluster of branches at the tip forming a cone or flat-topped crown. It reaches more than 100 feet in ideal conditions.

Growing western yellow pine tree: This pine is easily transplanted and prefers a deep, moist, well-drained loam. It needs full sun and is tolerant of alkaline soils.

Uses for western yellow pine tree: This is a good tree for shelter belts and windbreaks, as well as a specimen plant for dry climates.

Western yellow pine tree related species: The lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) is a closely related species with a straight trunk once used by Native Americans of the plains to construct their tepees. It gets its botanical name, contorta, from its needles, which are twisted rather than straight. It is a better choice for damp soils than the ponderosa pine.

Scientific name of western yellow pine tree: Pinus ponderosa

Want more information on trees and gardening? Try:

  • Shade Trees: Towering overhead, shade trees can complement even the biggest house, and define the amount of sunlight that reaches your yard.
  • Flowering Trees: Many trees offer seasonal blooms that will delight any visitor to your yard or garden.
  • Types of Trees: Looking for fresh ideas about what to plant? Find out about different species that can turn your yard into a verdant oasis.
  • Gardening: Get great tips about how to keep your garden healthy and thriving.