tree o’ the day


Just for fun I wanted to give honor to an old tree I like a lot.

So onward and upward … the tree o’ the day. This one just happens to be the most common one to this area. The ponderosa pine tree. Few interesting tid bits o’ information and then onto photos for id’ing purposes.

Couple fast facts;

– they thrive in an elevation from 2000 to 4000 ft.

– introducing Montana’s state tree

– a common lichen that grows on it is wolf lichen

– in old growth forests (like this one) they live between 400 years plus

– the name was created because of the “ponderous” sizes of the trees

– max height of the tree? 50m or about 165 feet tall

ponderosa pine needles

The needles are in small packets of threes if you pull off a set of needles at the little white base three very long needles will be in each one of these.

ponderosa pine needles2

This shot should give you an idea of the length of the needles which tends to be the easiest way of identifying this tree.

my favorite ponderosa

This is my favorite pine tree – it was attacked with witches broom – still survived both thousands of bird nests as well as my kids tree fort. (It also survived my lame sepia rendition but you get the idea of size I hope.)

Bark photos;

pondersa pine bark

Ponderosa Pine Lichen

The name of this lichen is aptly – (Letharia vulpina) or Pine Lichen. The neat stuff below I can’t find the name for…

ponderosa pine twig

Hopefully I did it justice. This is the primary tree in my yard and much of it is old growth.  The tree itself has a really deep root system that allows it to survive the drier summers in this area. Much of the lichen that grows on the trees which includes a lot more including old man’s beard up on the higher elevations is great food for many of the deer species in the area.

p.s. personal observation of the tree? It’s very difficult to get a photograph of a bird in the ponderosa pine the long bunches of needles really create a small haven for keeping both the nests very hidden and the birds as well.


16 Responses to “tree o’ the day”

  1. 1 montucky

    You did it justice, Lori! It’s one of my favorite trees too. The adults are very hard to photograph because they’re so big! Two really large ones share my front yard and I love them so much!

    By coincidence, this afternoon on my ramblings I also photographed some of the same lichens, thinking they provided some interesting form and bright color. Your shots are very nice!

  2. This is so wonderful! I love all the info and photos! The Pine Lichen’s rock!

  3. Wonderful info Lori, I think you are ready to write a nature guide, your writing and photographic skills look like they could lead you into that direction. Very nice 🙂

  4. thats quite a tree, nice captures, thanks for the facts.

  5. Lori, I love, love the photography and the article. Your photos are really well done.

    We grew a few of these at a Christmas tree farm I used to work at.

    I love to photograph mosses myself.

    Love your sepia. The second and fifth phot are great compositions.

  6. Hi Montucky,

    Once again a pleasure. I have to agree no matter what forests I roamed in this area I always started with these guys right next to me and tho I love the hardwoods on the other side of the continental divide – the yellow pine really tells the tale of home to this old gal. Thanks for visiting and letting me know I did an okay job. These grand-daddies are big and it’s exactly why I really felt like I had sold it short.

  7. Thanks Monarch – I favor the lichen branches too. That is an area I know so darn little about. But hey, it isn’t a day when I don’t realize I have more to learn. 😉

  8. Thanks Bernie. I was teasing Montucky about how everyone wants to get you a job when you retire. Honestly in the back of my mind I have bigger plans but it will probably take a year of serious study before I actually are informed enough to follow thru. It’s just an honor you stop by to take a look.

  9. my pleasure ankush – I read that in your area the needles are actually both in packets of twos and threes… a slight different species yours also grow up to 6000 ft. (must be heartier in your neck of the woods.)

  10. Hi painting artist, sincere? did you all use them as Christmas trees? I’m a big fan of mosses too fungi… things like that. I ran into a few today so I’ll try to shoot them this week sometime. They are so colorful at a time of the year when so much is bleak. Thank you once again for your kind thoughts.

  11. That you honor a tree is touching — most people just like trees and find nothing special about any one. Your post shows a keen appreciation of the grand personality of the Ponderosa . Another aspect is the wood of gentle,rich, warm brown color that imparts something special when used to wall a room.

  12. Ahh the grand Ponderosa Pine. If only I could keep it straight from the other common pines that grow in the Sierras. I suppose actually looking at the one or two tree field guides I have might help, eh? 🙂

    I like the sepia treatment – it simplifies the photo and makes it textural. And I’m impressed that you know what lichen that is!

  13. That wood color Imentioned above is not present from the start ; it comes as the exposed wood ages and mellows. If you wish to see this effect, check out the rooms in the old part of the massive ,log inn at Yrllowstone.

  14. Hi Cestoady, First, it’s a pleasure you dropped by and shared your thoughts. This particular tree is really one that speaks to me – there are a couple of more that I’d like to capture when they are in the height of their glory (fall) which is why I choose this time. I went on a geocache run which was all log cabins (old old ones) and many of them were built with this tree. I’m sure they were built somewhere in the 1900’s and are still standing (tho a bit worn.) And your so right the warmth of the wood when aged is a beautiful sight. Thank you for visiting.

  15. Hi Adam, There are some areas that are so washed out with pines that keeping them straight would seem like a task and a half. (I have the same problem on the coast over here.) The sepia photo was taken that way (playing with my camera) and I like that one best too but I still think it’s because I’m partial to that paticular tree. It’s at year five with the witches broom (which is a diease that lasts about seven years) and if the tree manages to hold on for two more years it should be healthy again. I’m looking forward to that. 🙂

  16. These are in fact impressive ideas in about blogging.
    You have touched some good factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.

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