Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) is a two-needled pine of the subgenus Pinus. The species has been divided geographically into four varieties: P. contorta var. contorta, P. contorta var. bolanderi, P. contorta var. murrayana and P. contorta var. latifolia. Lodgepole pine is not only an important timber species but is also a major tree cover in many scenic and recreational areas and on critical watersheds.
1. The Silviculture of Lodgepole PineLodgepole pine provides many acres of wildlife habitat and is associated with many grazing allotments throughout its range. It is important to local communities throughout the West. Lodgepole pine is used for framing, paneling, posts, corral poles, utility poles, railroad ties, and pulpwood. As new developments such as structural particleboard become practical, the rapid juvenile growth of the species will be an advantage where gross cubic volume becomes important. Even now, with properly designed machinery, it is economically harvested, and this harvesting, properly done, can enhance watershed, forage, wildlife habitat, and scenic and recreational values.
3. The Range of Lodgepole Pine
Lodgepole pine is an important tree with wide ecological benefits. It grows throughout the Rocky Mountain and Pacific coast regions, extending north to about latitude 64° N. in the Yukon Territory and south to about latitude 31° N. in Baja California, and west to east from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Forests dominated by lodgepole pine cover some 15 million acres in the Western United States and some 50 million acres in Canada.