Pitch Pine

Pinus rigida

Pitch pine is an irregularly shaped tree with branches that hang downward. The branches do not grow straight and often have a gnarled appearance. This specimen was found next to the American Jewish Historical Society at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.
Needles grow in bundles of three, about 4" (10cm) long, and they have a twist from base to tip. Needles do not snap cleanly when bent. Needles can often be found growing directly from the trunk in bundles.
Cones are small, but longer than they are wide, shaped like a small egg. Cone scales have sharp prickles on the outer surface and the cones persist on the tree after ripening.
Bark is dark, very thick and deeply furrowed.

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