Red pine, Pinus resinosa

Red pine (Pinus resinosa) is native to North America and confined to the Northern Forest region as well as the southern fringe of the Boreal Forest region in Alberta Canada. Red pine can also be found growing around the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

This species has a wide range and can be commonly found in the following Canadian provinces: Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, southern Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. It is also commonly found in the following American states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

This species also grows locally in northern Illinois, eastern West Virginia, and Newfoundland. Smaller growths of the red pine can be found in Massachusetts and Connecticut, New Jersey and Illinois, as well as the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. The Red pine is also known as the Norway pine.

The Red pine grows 66-115 feet tall with a trunk that measures three feet, three inches in diameter. The bark is gray-brown and thick on the lower trunk with thin bright orange-red bark at the crown. The needles are soft and flexible and grow in bundles of two measuring 4.7-7.1 inches long. The cones are oval and measure 1.6-2.4 inches long, are purple in color when immature and nut-blue when mature. Seeds are spread through consumption by birds and small animals. The Red pine can live for 350 years.

The primary use for red pine is for timber and pulpwood but can be used as windbreaks on farms as well as for erosion control and the conservation of water. Red pine is used as telephone poles in Michigan and in surrounding states. It is also commonly used for making log cabin homes.

Image Caption: Red Pine (Pinus resinosa). Credit: US FWS/Wikipedia