Willamette Valley ponderosa pine

by Susan Mates

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These little Willamette Valley ponderosa pines always make me smile. Each one has its own character. Their 10-12" long needles make me think of puppies who haven't yet grown into their big feet. That's pretty apt since this little tree has the potential to grow to be over 200' tall. Cousins to the ponderosa pines in Central Oregon, these trees have been in the Willamette Valley for over 7,000 years. Now young ponderosas may be the trees best suited our area for our changing climate. The next time you notice a Willamette Valley ponderosa pine, give it a pat and wish it a long life!