Ponderosa Pine

I wanted to share some pictures of trees i've taken up in the Sierras. The widely distributed Ponderosa Pine or Pinus Ponderosa is well known by many N. American Bonsai enthusiasts. Their trunks can have great character and movement with deeply fissured bark, all characteristics that we love in Bonsai.

Click any of the pictures to get a better view.

It always fascinates me to see how different the bark can look on these trees.  To the right of the picture above shows a close up of some deeply fissured bark.


Ponderosa Bonsai created by mother earth.

When I first learned of Ponderosa Pine I figured they were similar to Japanese Black Pine because of the bark.  However the more I learn about Ponderosa, the more I compare it to Japanese White Pine.  Both Ponderosa and White Pine are high mountain pines.  They both grow naturally with Jin, Shari and Twist because they face harsher growing environments.  For Bonsai these characteristics are more desirable on White and Ponderosa compared to Black Pine.  They are also similar in care and needle reduction.



The plants growing along side these trees give me great inspiration for accent plants.  I hope to see more natives like these being displayed along side our Bonsai in the future.


Taken on a beautiful day for a hike


Crazy shape and bark!


Close up of same tree as above.


I walked passed this pine which had been growing in a granite crack for several years.  I felt that this picture illustrated why collecting these pocket trees can sometimes be easy and other times be very challenging or impossible.  For whatever reason, the granite broke off on one side exposing the roots and taking away the support for the tree.  As you can see the tree has grown one very long root which continues back and further into the crack.  There are some feeder roots near the base of the trunk, but often they are not enough to support the tree if it was collected.


It's fun finding these naturally made waterfalls after the snow melts in the Sierras. Hope you liked the pictures and Happy New Year!!!

10 thoughts on “Ponderosa Pine”

  1. Nice pictures Jeremiah! From the looks of the pictures, it seems that twisty ponderosas are all over the place! LOL I’m sure you scouted around to find these specific gnarly trees. I always appreciated the feeling that poderosas have and have tended to lean more in keeping the original foliage. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind grafting some white pine or red pine on them either. Hahaha!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. I feel the same as you. If I had a nice big Ponderosa I would keep the natural foliage. But if I had a few I would like to graft some as well, thanks for the facebook shout out!

  2. I just lost a beautiful ponderosa pine bonsai that was naturally harvested, and wanted to enquire if you have any to sell… or know where I can get another to replace the one I had. It was like loosing a child, and I am very depressed by the loss. Thanks for your help. -Peter

    1. Hi Peter
      I plan to have collected material for sale in the future, but probably not for several years. I would recommend checking out Golden Arrow Bonsai and emailing Randy Knight to see what they have for sale.

      1. Thank you – is the collecting something you could use a hand with, because I would love the opportunity to help out? I am a rugged outdoorsman who raises rescued hybred wolves.

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