Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Ponderosa pine
Ńdíshchíí’
(a.k.a. Big heavy, black jack, bull pine, ponderosa white )

Ponderosa habitat showing traces of fire in a burned trunk

Ponderosa pine is a large, long-lived, native forest tree common throughout the western United States. The height of mature trees ranges from 55 to 90 feet. Ponderosa pine seeds are consumed by a great many birds and small mammals such as mice, chipmunks, and tree squirrels. Snags in the mature pine forest provide a large number of species with nesting and roosting sites. Big game, such as deer and elk, also use the pine forests for food and shelter. Ponderosa pines are fire-adapted and may grow in an open, park-like structure.

When the needles are eaten during gestation, they can cause abortion in cattle.

A stand of Ponderosas showing the spaciously arranged branches and the variation in bark due to age. The nearly black trees are young. Their bark will turn to a more golden grown at around 90 years.
Broad plates and black lines in the characteristic bark of an older Ponderosa
A stand of Ponderosas, whose foliage and spacing let light through to the ground
Growth habit of young Ponderosas, which have dark trunks and a characteristic conical shape
Broad plates and black lines in the characteristic bark of an older Ponderosa
Ponderosa cones lying among needles on the forest floor

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