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Dwarf Pine 'Chief Joseph'

  • Scientific Name: Pinus contorta v. latifolia 'Chief Joseph'
  • Garden: Natives Garden
  • Plant Type: Tree
  • Evergreen/Deciduous: Evergreen
  • Sun/Shade Exposure: Full Sun
  • Moisture Requirements: Dry

Plant Information

Easily grown in average to dry, well-draining soils in full sun. This tree is very adaptable, and will tolerate urban pollution, occasional drought, and poor soils. However, this plant does not tolerate any level of shade or consistently wet soils. Hardy from Zones 3-8.
Noteworthy Characteristics
Pinus contorta var. latifolia, commonly known as lodgepole pine, is a large evergreen conifer native to the inland mountain forests of western Canada south into the Rocky Mountains of the United States. This species can grow where other conifers would never survive, including nutrient poor soils, acidic bogs, and hot geyser basins. Lodgepole pine is dependent on fire for dispersal. The heat triggers the cones to open and release the enclosed seeds. Trees can reach over 100' tall and 20' wide, with a pyramidal to columnar habit and relatively open, horizontal branching structure.

'Chief Joseph' is a slow-growing dwarf cultivar with distinctive yellow winter color. In the spring and summer the needles are a bright yellowish-green color, but change to golden yellow as temperatures drop and fall turns to winter. This is a truly dwarf conifer, only growing 4-6" per year. It has a generally upright habit but can take on a slightly crooked form with age. This specimen was discovered by nursery grower Doug Will, who found it growing in the Wallowa Mountains of eastern Oregon. It is named for the famed Chief Joseph, who led the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce tribe during a tumultuous period of forced relocation by the United States federal government in the latter half of the 1800s.
No major pest or disease problems.

8.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution

Data Source

Photo Credit

PICO Full, PICO Needles (©2022 Cheri Moland)