2 Main Types of Pine Trees in Utah

When it comes to native and naturalized trees, the state of Utah has nearly 50 different types. These make up more than 240 species and include trees such as the maple, Douglas fir, spruce, poplar, ash, willow, and pine. In fact, the University of Utah even offers tree identification tours, which consist of both regular and virtual tours and provide tons of valuable information on many different types of trees.

Pine trees are common in the United States and usually get very large in size. They are coniferous trees that live from 100 to 1000 years, and although the pine trees with needles as leaves are the most common, there are three other leaf types as well. In addition, the wood of the pine tree is very hard and functional and therefore, it has a wide variety of uses. In addition, pine shrubs can also grow, and these are usually around 10 feet in height.

Most pine trees have thick and scaly bark, as well as both male and female cones. The seeds inside these cones are usually small and winged, and they are often used as food sources for wildlife and sometimes even humans. For pine trees that have needles, these needles usually grow in groups of between two and five, sometimes seven. 

Because of the strong wood that it provides, the pine tree is very valuable and provides people with jobs and with a variety of products that they use every day. Researching these trees is easy, and if you’d like to get additional details on the types of pine trees found in the state of Utah, keep reading.

1. Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta)

Lodgepole Pine Pinus Contorta Var. Latifolia
Matt Lavin Lodgepole Pine (Pinus Contorta Var. Latifolia)

Lodgepole pine trees have very resinous needles and cones with prickly designs on the scales. They grow from 130 to 160 feet in height and have strong, hard-to-break branches that hang down low and in fact make the entire tree look rather elegant. They are also known as the twisted or shore pine tree, and they consist of four different subspecies. 

You can choose either a Lodgepole shrub, which grows to around 10 feet high; or a standard tree. Like other types of pine trees, the wood on this tree is very sturdy and is therefore used in a variety of projects, including various building and construction projects. In some cultures, the tree has even been used for medicinal purposes.

2. Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva)

Bristlecone Pine Pinus Longaeva
John Rusk Bristlecone Pine (Pinus Longaeva)

Found mostly in the higher mountainous regions of California, Nevada, and Utah, the Bristlecone pine tree is a long-living tree. An example is the Methuselah, which has been proven to be more than 4,800 years old. Another specimen in that same forest was found to be more than 5,000 years old, so the Bristlecone pine tree is guaranteed to stick around for a very long time.

This is a medium-sized tree that typically grows to be about 20 to 50 feet tall and has a trunk with a diameter of 8 to 12 feet. The cones are typically two to four inches long with seeds that are naturally dispersed as soon as the cones open. In addition, the trees found in higher elevations often have a twisted and gnarled appearance.