WSU Clark County Extension

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Shore Pine

Scientific name: Pinus contorta 'Contorta'

Type:Coniferous trees
Plant Requirements
Zone:3 to 9
Sun:Full sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:45 ft
Width:30 ft
Bloom Time:April
Bloom Color:Yellow
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Shore Pine (also called Beach Pine) is a Northwest native conifer that grows along the Pacific ocean from Alaska south into northern California. It is widely utilized in the landscape for its tough stature and adaptability. On the east side of the Cascade Mountains range a close relative would be Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia).

This species is an evergreen tree which grows to a height of 40’-50’ in a somewhat sprawling and irregular, broadly rounded form. No two trees look similar. Rarely does Shore Pine achieve a straight trunk. Branches bear needles in bundles of 2. These needles are typically 1”-3" long, stout, somewhat flattened and often appear twisted along their length.

Shore pine flowers are monoecious. Male flowers are yellow, cylindrical and clustered at branch tips, while female flowers are reddish purple at branch tips and appear in the upper crown. Female flowers give rise to prickly cones which are 1”-2” long and egg-shaped. These cones are attached to the branches in pairs and without stalks. They tend to point backwards towards the main trunk. Some cones will open and release seed soon after maturing; others may remain un-opened for several years. The pine nuts are a favorite of squirrels and songbirds.

Shore Pine is highly adaptable to many soil conditions, wet or dry. Along the Pacific Ocean it can tolerate wind and salt spray with ease.

European pine shoot moth has been found to cause distorted shoots on this species.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234