High Desert Plant Finder & Guide
Murrayana Lodgepole Pine flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 60 feet
Spread: 25 feet
Hardiness Zone: 3
Other Names: Pinus contorta ssp. Murrayana
A tall, narrow evergreen of the Cascade Mountains, that is very slow growing; this is not the coastal variety, it is more cold tolerant.
Murrayana Lodgepole Pine has grayish green foliage. The needles remain grayish green throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The shaggy brick red bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.
Murrayana Lodgepole Pine is an open evergreen tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance tree. When pruning is necessary, it is recommended to only trim back the new growth of the current season, other than to remove any dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Murrayana Lodgepole Pine is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Vertical Accent
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- Windbreaks and Shelterbelts
Planting & Growing
Murrayana Lodgepole Pine will grow to be about 60 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It has a high canopy of foliage that sits well above the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. As it matures, the lower branches of this tree can be strategically removed to create a high enough canopy to support unobstructed human traffic underneath. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 100 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!
This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.
Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.