A tree up to 175 ft high, with a trunk 4 ft or more in diameter; young shoots downy; winter-buds ovoid, with flattened scales. Leaves in fives, 3 to 41⁄2 in. long, rough at the margins (minutely toothed under the lens), glaucous green, with several lines of stomata on the inner sides; leaf-sheath about 5⁄8 in. long, soon falling. Cones 5 to 10 in. long, 11⁄4 in. wide before expanding, cylindrical, tapered, and curved towards the end; scales thin, smooth, rounded at the apex, terminated by a dark resinous scar (umbo).
Native of western N. America from British Columbia and Vancouver Island to California and bordering parts of Nevada, east to Idaho and Montana; introduced by Douglas in 1831. Although not so well known in this country as its eastern ally – P. strobus, it is a handsome tree for gardens, assuming a shapely, slender, pyramidal shape. It is liable to be confused with P. strobus, but the short down all over the shoot usually distinguishes it. Its leaves also are stiffer and stouter. It yields a useful timber in its native home, but in Europe is planted for ornament only.
Like P. strobus and P. lambertiana, this pine is very susceptible to white pine blister-rust, to which all the old specimens in the country have fallen victim. The largest survivors in Britain are 70 to 80 ft high, 5 to 93⁄4 ft in girth.