Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Colorado piñon
Chá’oł
(a.k.a. Piñon pine, common pinyon, two needle pinyon, twoneedle/two needle pinyon, Colorado pinyon)

Dense needles hiding a small cone

Colorado piñon often grows as a low, bushy tree with an irregularly rounded, spreading crown. The trunk is generally short and crooked, with several large, crooked branches. It may grow to 40 inches in diameter. Height is typically 26 to 56 feet. Colorado piñon is a slow-growing, long-lived tree. It can survive more than 500 years and may reach 800 to 1,000 years of age.

Piñon nuts are a preferred food for turkeys, piñon jays, woodrats, bears, and other wildlife, and they are a common food for deer, particularly during harsh winters with deep snows. Piñon ranks first among the native nut trees that are not also cultivated. The nuts are commonly sold and eaten after roasting in the shell, but small quantities are sold raw. They were once a staple food.

Two female cones surrounded by needles
Growth habit showing shape and silhouette of tree
Pendulous branches
Male pollen cones surrounded by needles

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