As you drive deeper into the Minnesota wilderness to reach your Minnesota resort you are surrounded by towering trees. Ever wonder how many kinds of pine trees there are in the area? Continue reading to learn more about the pine trees that fill the Minnesota forest.  

One of the best resources to use when you start your exploration of pine trees here in Minnesota is the state’s DNR website. According to their website there are 53 native tree species in Minnesota. When you are on a hike on one of the hundreds of trails, be on the lookout for the three species of pine trees. These include the White Pine, Jack Pine and Red Pine which is also known as a Norway Pine.

These three pines are part of the subcategory of Coniferous Trees. Coniferous means that the tree produces cones and has needles for leaves. The other subcategories of trees are called Deciduous which means these trees produce leaves and that they drop these leaves annually. 

Now that you know a little more about how to identify a pine tree let’s look at the specific types.

White Pine: When you are looking to identify a White Pine look for needles that flow in the wind. White Pine needles are longer than their counterparts therefore are more flexible and softer. Another way to pick out a White Pine is that they can become 80 feet tall and 40 feet wide.

Jack Pine: The Jack Pine is another species of pines that are in abundance in Northern Minnesota. You can identify this species by looking for short and stout needles that grow in groups of two. Another give away that you are seeing a Jack Pine is that their cones stay closed and bloom like other pine cones.

Red/Norway Pine: The last type of pine tree to search for is the Red/Norway Pine. These can be identified by their 2-4 inch length needles that also grow in groups of twos. When you think of a pine cone you are probably envisioning a Red/Norway Pine’s cone. Their cones are egg shaped and can be collected for decorations or for fun.

After identifying the three different pine trees found in Minnesota it is time to impress your hiking mates with some fun facts about these trees.

The Jack/Norway Pine became Minnesota's state tree in 1953!

One of the best places to see these beautiful trees is at the Itasca State Park, where they have 5,000 acres of Red/Norway Pine forests. Pine trees are categorized as Coniferous. Along with pines there are also multiple other trees that fit under this category which include Cedar, Balsam Fir, Hemlock, Spruce and Tamarack.

Now it is time to go out and enjoy the Pine forests in Northern Minnesota. Enjoy a trip up north while staying at one of our many member resorts and campgrounds that are in the middle of these forests. Take the time to explore and identify the pines that you have just learned about on the hundreds of hiking trails or in one of the 60+ Minnesota State Parks.

53 native trees in Minnesota

There are 53 types of trees in Minnesota.
Identify the many trees that are pine trees in Minnesota.
Enjoy Minnesota's trails while staying at one of our many member resorts and campgrounds.

Submitted by Courtney Senger

Photo Credits: Barbara Unzen,  Star Tribune

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