Distribution: Mostly east of the Cascades, British Columbia to Baja California, east to the Dakotas and Texas; in a few localities in the Puget Trough, Washington, and the Willamette Valley Oregon
Habitat: Mostly dry areas in open forests at low to moderate elevations
Cones: May - June
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Large forest tree up to 70 m. tall.
Bark thick, that of younger trees deeply furrowed and dark reddish-brown or blackish, gradually changing to cinnamon-red in older trees, divided into large plates that freely flake off.
Needles usually in clusters of 3 toward the branch ends, 12-20 cm. long, yellowish-green, on spur branches that are ultimately deciduous with the needles.
Staminate cones yellow to purplish, strongly clustered, crowded at the base of shoots of the current season; ovulate cones near the branch tips, reddish-purple when young, sub-sessile, nearly horizontal, becoming reddish-brown, then brown when mature, broadly ovate, 8-14 cm. long, the scales chocolate-brown, with a thickened, yellowish-brown, strongly prickly tip.