Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Grow Lodgepole Pine Trees

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017

The lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) is a highly adaptable, low-maintenance evergreen tree that has yellowish-green, twisted needles and a long, pole-like trunk. Native to the Pacific Northwest regions of North America, the lodgepole pine grows tall and slender, reaching heights of 70 to 80 feet. Lodgepole pine trees grow best in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 through 8, where winters are cooler but minimum annual temperatures don’t drop below -25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Select a planting site for your lodgepole pine trees that’s in full to partial sunlight. Choose a location where there’s plenty of room for your lodgepole pines to grow to mature heights of 70 to 80 feet and branching widths of 20 feet.

Dig a planting hole that’s the same depth as and 1 ½ times the width of the lodgepole pine tree’s root ball. Remove the burlap from the root ball and set the root ball into the planting hole with the tree standing straight up.

Backfill the planting hole with the displaced soil. Water the lodgepole pine tree thoroughly to saturate the soil down around the root ball.

Water your lodgepole pine tree deeply and evenly once per week during the spring, summer and early autumn, to supplement rainfall during times of drought or prolonged dry spells.

Prune away all dead, diseased or damaged branches from your lodgepole pine tree in late fall or winter. Lodgepole pines don’t require regular pruning to shape the tree.


Things You Will Need

  • Lodgepole pine tree saplings
  • Shovel
  • Garden hose
  • Pruning tools
  • Slow-release pine tree fertilizer (optional)
  • Insecticide (optional)


  • Lodgepole pines don't require regular fertilization. If you have nutrient-poor soil, however, you can feed your lodgepole pine trees an all-purpose, slow-release pine tree fertilizer once each year in early spring, according to the directions on the package.


  • Beware of the mountain pine beetle attacking your lodgepole pine trees. Look for needles turning a rusty-brown color and small beetles tunneling and laying eggs beneath the bark, to detect a mountain pine beetle infestation. Treat your lodgepole pines with an appropriate insecticide to get rid of the beetles, following the directions on the label.

About the Author


Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.