Pitch Pine - Pinus rigida

This is Ontario’s only native conifer with needles bunched in groups of three. Pitch pine is found only in a small area east of Lake Ontario.  This extremely fire-resistant tree is another serotinous pine species that relies on fire to remove plant competition and help open sealed cones. In fact, in Ontario, this species is in decline, partly as a result of decreased reproduction due to wildfire suppression. Porcupines love to browse this tree!

Pitch Pine Trunk
Another unique feature of pitch pine is that needles and even cones will often sprout right out of the trunk!

Pitch Pine Needles
The bundle of three needles of a pitch pine tree.

Pitch Pine Tree
This Pitch Pine is in our World of Trees collection.

Ontario Tree Atlas map of non-planted Pitch Pine. 1995-1999.
Ontario Tree Atlas map of non-planted Pitch Pine. 1995-1999.

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Farrar, J.L.. 1995. Trees in Canada. Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd. Toronto. ON. 504 pp.  

Kershaw, L. 2001. Trees in Ontario: Including tall shrubs. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton. AB. 240 pp

Muma, W. 2011. Ontario Trees and Shrubs. [Online] Available: www.ontariotrees.com

OMNR, 2011. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources: Ontario Tree Atlas. [Online] Available: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/ClimateChange/2ColumnSubPage/267027.html

OMNR, 2008. Ontario’s Biodiversity: Species at Risk.