Limber Pine (Pinus flexilis)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Limber Pine
Give a thumbs up Rocky Mountain White Pine
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Soil pH Preferences: Very strongly acid (4.5 – 5.0)
Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 20 to 35 feet in landscapes, to 70 feet
Plant Spread: 15 to 30 feet, to 50 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Needled
Suitable Locations: Patio/Ornamental/Small Tree
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
maturing specimen in slope at big restaurant

Photo gallery:
Location: Lancaster County, PennsylvaniaDate: 2019-02-16maturing specimen in slope at big restaurant
By ILPARW
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Location: Waterton N.P., Alberta; Oil Basin Col.Date: 2011-09-07
By growitall
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Location: Waterton N.P., Alberta; Oil Basin Col.Date: 2011-09-07
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Location: Waterton N.P., Alberta; Oil Basin Col.Date: 2011-09-07
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Location: Waterton N.P., Alberta; Oil Basin Col.Date: 2011-09-07
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Location: Craters of the Moon NM, IdahoCredit NPS
By admin
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Location: Exton, PennsylvaniaDate: 2012-02-09mature tree planted at garden center-nursery
By ILPARW
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Location: Cantigny Gardens in Wheaton, IllinoisDate: 2010-08-18mature tree in summer
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Location: Harvard, IllinoisDate: spring in 1987row of trees in whole sale nursery
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Location: Hiker and limber pine (Pinus flexilis) at Lake Haiyaha in Rocky Mountain National ParkDate: 2011-09-02Photo courtesy of: Miguel Vieira
By admin
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Location: LancDate: 2019-02-16foliage in winter
By ILPARW
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Location: Cantigny Gardens in Wheaton, IllinoisDate: 2010-08-18summer foliage
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Location: Harvard, IllinoisDate: spring in 1987foliage
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 22, 2019 5:39 PM

Limber Pine is native to the Rocky Mountains from southern Alberta down to northern Mexico in dry, uplands, even on steep rocky slopes. It is a "soft pine," that has green to blue-green soft needles in clumps of 5 about 2.5 to 3.5 inches long and sort of stout. The twigs are very flexible that one can tie them into a knot, thus the common name. The columnar cones are 3 to 8 inches long. The young bark is smooth and gray and then matures to dark brown and scaly, like most White Pines. It becomes a broad rounded or flat-topped tree in maturity. It grows about 1/2 to 1.2 feet/year and lives about 200 to over 300 years. The slower growth happens in the dry, rocky soils of the mountains while in richer soils it grows faster. It is grown by some larger, diverse conventional nurseries in the eastern & midwestern US. I see it infrequently, in both regions, used by landscape architects and designers at estates, parks, campuses, and professional landscapes. It does well in the silt-clay loam, neutral pH soils of northern Illinois and the upper Midwest, plus the good quality clay soils of southeast Pennsylvania. Beautiful tree!

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