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Limber Pine

Limber Pine Tree
The limber pine is a native of the American West, especially the Rocky Mountains. It is small and slow-growing, and can live for a very long time. The limber pine can grow under some of the most extreme conditions: places with poor soil, places with intense wind, and places with very arid climates. This makes the limber pine important in reforestation. The limber pine can live to be over 1,000 years old in the right circumstances. This makes it especially useful to scientists interested in tree-ring dating at archaeological and paleontological excavation sites. You can find limber pine in the Park’s Arthur Ross Pinetum.

Common Name: Limber Pine

Scientific Name: Pinus flexilis

Origin: Rocky Mountains to Western United States

Family: Pinaceae

Size: 30 - 50' tall

Form: Dense, pyramidal when young

Culture: Thrives in full sun; prefers moist, well drained soils


2.5 - 3.5" long, dark bluish-green, needles in fives and slightly curved or twisted, persisting five to six years


Male flowers clustered, female flowers solitary or in twos or threes


3 - 6" long, resinous, light brown cones, appear fat and hefty


Smooth when young, greenish gray; older bark is rough, blocky and scaly, dark gray