hard pine, yellow pine

Pinus rigida Miller

Pitch pine is found on dry ridges and slopes, in the northeastern section of the state and on Long Island, and infrequently elsewhere. The wood is coarse-grained and brownish red in color. The tree seldom reaches a large size and the lumber is generally knotty. Its chief uses are for rough framing lumber, ties, mine props, and crates.

Bark- early becomes very rough and is of a reddish brown to a very dark brown color, with age becoming deeply furrowed into broad, flat-topped ridges separating on the surface into loose, dark reddish brown scales. The unusual thickness of the bark makes it the most fire-resistant tree in the state. Clusters of needles are very commonly found on the main trunk.

Twigs - coarse, brittle, golden-brown in color.

Winter buds - conspicuous, pointed, reddish brown in color, resin coated.

Leaves - needle-like, in clusters of 3, 3 to 5 inches long, yellowish green in color, very stiff, staying on twigs 2 to 3 years.

Fruit - a cone, 2 to 3 inches long, somewhat egg-shaped, without stem, requiring 2 years to mature; persists on tree for many years. Cone scales - each carries a stiff recurved prickle. Seeds - 2 under each scale, dark brown in color, ripening in September.

Distinguishing features - needles in 3's; sharp prickles on tip of cone scale.

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