Pitch Pine

Scientific Name: Pinus rigida

Tree ID: 803

Latitude: 41.677285

Longitude: -69.959205

Mature Size: 20-90′ T

Memorial: Mr John

The Pitch Pine is ubiquitous on Cape Cod since it can grow in places that other species find unsuitable, such as sandy and low-nutrient soils. Its scientific name, Pinus rigida, means rigid or stiff and refers to both the cone scales and the wide-spreading, sharply pointed needles. It is a medium-sized evergreen with resinous wood. Native to Eastern North America, it is a very hardy species that is resistant to fire and injury. After a fire, sprouts grow from the roots and stumps of the burned trees. Its wood is rough grained and not very strong, but it contains a lot of resin. This makes the wood resistant to decay. The wood was often used for ship building, fences, and railroad ties. The colonists made turpentine and tar from the resin of the pitch pine.