You can find a species of pine almost everywhere you go in the world, but they primarily grow in northern temperate regions. They are coniferous, and many species are fast-growing. They tend to tolerate poor soils and relatively arid conditions. The leaves on adult trees are green needles that grow bundled together in clusters of two to five needles.
The Coulter pine tree (Pinus coulteri) grows to about 80 feet at maturity and spans 20 to 40 feet. The green needles are bundled in groups of three. It is native to California and Mexico. It grows well in full sun and has a low tolerance for drought.
Japanese White Pine
The Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora) is a native of Japan. It grows 25 to 50 feet tall and is as wide as it is tall. The barks of young trees are smooth and gray, later turning a dark gray with a scaly texture. As they age, the trees takes on a flat-topped shape because the lower branches are shorter than the upper branches. The needles are bluish-green and grow five to a bundle.
Lacebarks (Pinus bungeana) are slow-growing pines that rise, on average, to 60 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide. They tend to develop several trunks. Native to China, they grow on steep, well-drained slopes. As the trees age, the bark exfoliates to reveal a mixture of white, green and brown patches. The foliage is green to dark green, with needles that grow three to a bundle.
Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) trees grow 50 to 90 feet tall. They lose their lower branches as they age. The remaining branches average 30 to 40 feet. Loblolly needles grow in bundles of three and lose some of their dark green color in winter. They are the fastest-growing pines, grow in sun to partial shade and tolerate poor soil conditions.
Longleaf pine trees (Pinus palustris) grow slowly and can live for 500 years. The leaves are dark-green, long needles that grow in bundled in groups of three. The leaves are eight to 18 inches long, some of the longest of any pine species. The bark is a reddish-brown color with a scaly texture. Pencil point-sized pockets of resin cover the barks of mature trees. Longleafs grow to just over 100 feet high.
Pond pine trees (Pinus serotina) are native to the eastern portion of the United States. They thrive in poorly drained soil near the edges of ponds. They grow 30 to 70 feet high. The bark is a dark red-brown color and scaly. The leaves grow in bundles of three slender needles.
Ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa) are spread throughout the western states of the United States. The bark is a reddish-brown color and broken into large, flat and scaly plates. The needles are thick and stiff, and grow in bundles of three. The needles are a dark-green color. Ponderosas tend to grow 60 to 100 feet tall with branches that spread 25 to 20 feet wide.
Shortleaf pine trees (Pinus echinata) grow most often in dry, light soils, but tolerate a range of soil types. Trees of this species can grow to over 100 feet tall. The bark is dark-brown to gray-brown with an irregular scaly surface texture.
Sugar pine trees (pinus lambertiana) are the tallest pines in the world, ranging from 175 to 200 feet tall. The branches extend 50 feet wide. The leaves are blue-green and grow in bundles of five needles. The bark is deeply divided into long plate-like ridges. They are native to California, Nevada, Oregon and Mexico.
Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm) is a slow-growing pine that is native to western regions of the United States and southwestern Canada. It grows at very high elevations, and can reach 20 to 50 feet in height. The leaves are short needles that grow in bundles of five. The needles are green to yellow-green.