The Gymnosperm Database


Ontario's northern forest, growing around a rock in Killarney Provincial Park: clockwise from top are Abies balsamea, Tsuga canadensis, Thuja occidentalis, Pinus resinosa, Pinus strobus, and Picea mariana.


Sapling in habitat at Club Gatineau, Québec (47.098° N, 75.741° W) [Réjean Drouin, 2017.07].


Foliage and immature cone on a tree in habitat at Club Gatineau, Québec (47.098° N, 75.741° W) [Réjean Drouin, 2017.07].


Mature P. resinosa (left) and Pinus strobus (right) in habitat at Club Gatineau, Québec (47.098° N, 75.741° W) [Réjean Drouin, 2017.07].

Click HERE for a nice photo by Neil Pederson (linked 2006.09.08).


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Conservation status

Pinus resinosa

Aiton 1789

Common names

Red pine, Norway pine, pin rouge (Kral 1993).

Taxonomic notes


"Trees to 37 m; trunk to 1.5 m diam., straight; crown narrowly rounded. Bark light red-brown, furrowed and cross-checked into irregularly rectangular, scaly plates. Branches spreading-ascending; twigs moderately slender (to 1cm thick), orange- to red-brown, aging darker brown, rough. Buds ovoid-acuminate, red-brown, to ca. 2 cm, resinous; scale margins fringed. Leaves 2 per fascicle, straight or slightly twisted, brittle, breaking cleanly when bent, deep yellow-green, all surfaces with narrow stomatal bands, margins serrulate, apex short-conic, acute; sheath 1-2.5 cm, base persistent. Pollen cones ellipsoid, ca. 15mm, dark purple. Seed cones maturing and opening in 2 years, spreading, symmetric, ovoid before opening, broadly ovoid to nearly globose when open, 3.5-6 cm, light red-brown, nearly sessile; apophyses slightly thickened, slightly raised, transversely low-keeled; umbo central, centrally depressed, unarmed. Seeds ovoid; body 3-5 mm, brown; wing to 20 mm. 2n=24" (Kral 1993).

Distribution and Ecology

Canada: Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland; and USA: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Occurs on sandy soils at 200-800(1300)m, chiefly in boreal forests (Kral 1993). See also Thompson et al. (1999). Hardy to Zone 3 (cold hardiness limit between -39.9°C and -34.4°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Distribution data from USGS (1999).

Big tree

Diameter 100 cm, height 38 m, crown spread 18 m, located in Watersmeet, MI (American Forests 1996). The tallest known one is in Hartwick Pines State Park, Michigan; it is 43.77 m tall (Rucker 2003).


A tree cut during powerline construction in 1992 proved to have a crossdated age of 500 years. This tree was near Kenora, Ontario (S. St. George, pers. comm., cited by Henry [no date]). The oldest (presumably) living trees are near Dixon Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, where specimen 082171 had 430 rings when collected by Ed Cook in 1982 (NCDC 2006).


Some work has been done. For example, Danzer et al. (2001) have used it in anatomical studies. Further work can be located at the Bibliography of Dendrochronology.


It was once the most important timber pine in the Great Lakes region (Kral 1993).


Have seen in Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario. It can probably be seen in most American and Canadian National Parks within its range.


Norway pine is the state tree of Minnesota (Kral 1993). It was called "Norway" for the homeland of the men who logged it.


Aiton, W. 1789. Hortus Kewensis vol. 3, p. 367. Available:, accessed 2011.05.21.

American Forests 1996. The 1996-1997 National Register of Big Trees. Washington, DC: American Forests. This is a dated citation; the big tree register is now available online.

Danzer, S.R., Leavitt, S.W., Panyushkina, I.P., Mergner, A., Garcia, E., Best-Svob, V. 2001. Xylem tracheid development in Pinus resinosa seedlings in controlled environments. Tree-Ring Research 57(1):45-53. Available online at (accessed 2006.06.06).

Henry, M. [no date]. Ontario's oldest trees. (accessed 2006.09.08).

[NCDC 2006] Data accessed at the National Climatic Data Center World Data Center for Paleoclimatology Tree-Ring Data Search page, 2006.09.08. URL:

See also

Burns & Honkala (1990).

Engstrom, F.B. and D.H. Mann. 1991. Fire ecology of red pine (Pinus resinosa) in northern Vermont, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 21(6):882-889.

The FEIS database.

Prasad and Iverson (1999).

Last Modified 2017-12-29