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Pinus jeffreyi Balf.

Jeffrey Pine

Modern name

Pinus jeffreyi A.Murray bis


P. ponderosa var. jeffreyi (Balf.) Vasey

A lofty tree said to attain 200 ft in the wild, but more commonly 100 to 130 ft, with a narrow crown and a dark, fissured bark; young shoots stout, greyish, with a pruinose bloom; buds only slightly resinous, with scales free at the tip. Leaves in bundles of three, 5 to 10 in. long, bluish green, persisting five to eight years, giving off a fruity scent when bruised; sheath persistent. Cones 3 to 8 in. long (sometimes to 10 in.), oblong-ovoid; scales each with a slender decurved prickle. Seeds about 12 in. long, wing up to 134 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 8257.

Native mainly of California in the Sierra Nevada and Siskiyous, but also occurring in S. Oregon, W. Nevada, and in the Mexican state of Baja California; discovered by Jeffrey in 1852 when collecting for the Oregon Association and introduced by him at the same time. P. jeffreyi is closely allied to P. ponderosa and at one time it was usual to regard it as a variety of that species. But recent investigations have shown that it is a distinct and stable species, differing from P. ponderosa in the chemical composition of the resin, the darker bark, less resinous buds with scales free at the tip, the colour of the young shoots and the leaves, in the usually larger cones with recurved prickles, and the heavier seeds. But the two species are very similar in their wood. In areas where both are present, P. jeffreyi, being more frost-resistant when young, tends to predominate in frost hollows and exposed ridges, while P. ponderosa prefers the slopes.

The most notable tree of P. jeffreyi grows at Scone Palace, Perth; planted in 1860 it measures 118 × 1212 ft (1970). Others are: Peper Harrow, Elstead, Surrey, 95 × 11 ft (1971); Hampton Park, Puttenham, Surrey, 90 × 10 ft and 75 × 1012 ft (1969); Warnham Court, Sussex, 92 × 714 ft (1963); Eastnor Castle, Heref., 82 × 912 ft (1970); Gordon Castle, Moray, 89 × 734 ft (1970). In Eire, there is a splendid tree at Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, pl. 1866, measuring 116 × 1034 ft (1966).

P. jeffreyi makes a very ornamental specimen when young, densely leafy and of narrow habit, as is well shown by a tree growing in a front garden in Holdfast Lane near Haslemere. It was planted in 1935 and measures 55 × 434 ft (1964).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Knap Hill Nursery, Surrey, 70 × 912 ft (1983); Peper Harrow, Elstead, Surrey, 95 × 11 ft (1971); Hampton Park, Puttenham, Surrey, 99 × 11 ft, the second tree mentioned is now broken and only 46 × 1112 ft (1984); Warnham Court, Sussex, 102 × 812 ft (1983); Stratfield Saye, Hants, 68 × 734 ft (1982); Eastnor Castle, Heref., 88 × 734 ft (1984) and 79 × 912 ft (1977); Rossie Priory, Perths., 128 × 10 ft (1985); Scone Palace, Perth, pl. 1860, 135 × 1314 ft (1981); Castle Menzies, Perths., 70 × 834 ft (1983); Gordon Castle, Moray, 88 × 8 ft (1980); Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, Eire, the tree pl. 1866 has not been remeasured but another of unrecorded planting date is 60 × 712 ft (1978).

The tree in Holdfast Lane, Haslemere, mentioned in the last paragraph (page 226), pl. 1935, is 60 × 712 ft (1978).



Other species in the genus