Lodgepole Attitude

A Walk in the Woods

by Randi de Santa Anna

When the bark beetles were in full swing I copped an attitude against lodgepole pines. They seemed weak and a waste of space in the forest. But I have come to understand their important role in fire ecology habitats and have adjusted my attitude.

Though short-lived, lodgepole pines, Pinus contorta, are the most common Rocky Mountain tree species north of New Mexico because they are fast growing, reproduce prolifically and can inhabit almost any soil.

Lodgepoles produce normal cones and also serotinous cones, which are sealed shut with resin. Lodgepoles' normal cones shed...


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