Josh Morrisey

Spokane Urban Forestry Hosting Ponderosa Pine Contest

Josh Morrisey, City of Spokane Parks & Recreation, Marketing Assistant, No Phone Number Available

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 3:22 p.m.

Spokane Urban Forestry Hosting Ponderosa Pine Contest

Can you find the biggest Ponderosa Pine in Spokane?

Spokane’s Urban Forestry Citizen Advisory Committee and the Spokane Ponderosa Network are hosting a contest to raise awareness of Spokane’s official tree, the Ponderosa Pine. You can nominate a ponderosa pine tree as your favorite, or possibly the largest in the city by filling out the application below and submitting it to City of Spokane Urban Forestry.

Submitting your nomination:

  • Email to:
  • Fax to: 509.625.6205 or
  • Mail to: City of Spokane Urban Forestry: 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd Spokane WA 99201

Every nomination will be entered into a raffle for cool prizes. So let’s have fun and nominate your favorite ponderosa pine tree. (It doesn’t have to be big to be nominated and entered into the raffle.)

Key Identifying Features of the Ponderosa Pine:

  • Long needles 5 to 11 inches in clustered bundles of 3
  • Bark is dark brown turning to a reddish, yellow color as it ages
  • Cones are fairly large, from 3 to 6 inches long


Meriwether Lewis first described in writing what has now come to be known as the Ponderosa Pine in 1805.

“saw today some high hills…whose summits were covered with pine. Capt Clark went on shore and visited them; he brought with him on his return som of the boughs of this pine it is of the pitch kind but I think the leaves somewhat longer than ours in Virginia.” –Meriwether Lewis

Though unknown to Euro-Americans before 1805, the ponderosa pine was invaluable to American Indian tribes throughout the west, and was used for everything from building materials, to food, to medicine. Botanically described by David Douglass in 1826 from a place near present-day Spokane, the pinus ponderosa, commonly known as the ponderosa pine, bull pine, blackjack pine, or western yellow pine, is Spokane’s dominant native conifer. Well adapted to thrive in local conditions, it is exceedingly windfirm, drought-tolerant, and low-maintenance.  It was named as the City of Spokane’s official tree in 2014.

Learn more about the ponderosa pine at

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