53. Pinus ponderosa – Ponderosa Pine
Scientific Name: Pinus ponderosa
Nativity: Western United States and Canada
The state tree of Montana. In Operation Upshot–Knothole, 145 ponderosa pines were transported to Area 51 for testing the impacts of nuclear blasts on forests. Ponderosa pines have many adaptations to wildfire, exemplifying the special adaptations that many pines possess. Their thick bark prevents fire from scorching their heartwood. Additionally, ponderosa saplings can survive wildlife and tend to thrive during the lack of competition immediately after a fire. Historically, Native Americans harvested the inner bark for their horses during times when snow pack was too thick to access other forage. Pine pitch has also been traditionally used to treat a variety of ailments, from earaches to cuts and scrapes.
DBH: 31.5 inches