Southwestern White Pine
Arizona, New Mexico, and south into Mexico.
Broad, rounded, and often with a hint of dishevelment in the branching and the leaves.
Prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soils. This pine is potentially more heat and drought tolerant than the eastern white pine, to which it is very similar.
Specimen plant, screens, and some effort has been made to produce this pine for sale as a Christmas tree.
Needles 1.5 to 3.5 inches long, in fascicles of fives, often twisted, and distinctly bluish (more so than eastern white pine). The needles are rather soft to the touch.
Dark brown and deeply furrowed.
Cones are short stalked or sessile, cylindrical, and 6 to 10 inches long.
The western white pine is part of a "continuum of pine" so to speak. The continuum begins with Pinus monticola in the Pacific Northwest, intergrading into Pinus flexilis in the Rocky Mountains (Colorado), south to Pinus strobiformis in the Southwestern United States, and ending up as Pinus ayacahuite in Mexico. Understandably, these pines are all very similar and have similar uses in the landscape. There are, however, subtle differences in these pines, both as immature and mature specimens. When one learns to identify the individual species, discern nuance in habit, texture, and color, and subsequently utilize these characteristics to their full extent in the landscape, one will have reached a level of sophistication of a true "master of the pines".