Ponderosa or yellow pine, Pinus ponderosa, is one of the most widespread western tree species, extending from Mexico to southern Canada, and from Nebraska to the West Coast.
It can grow 60 to over 100 feet high with a spread of 25-30 feet. It can’t tolerate shade and prefers light, moist soils but once established can handle drier conditions and has been known to live to 600 years. Its roots can go 6 feet deep in porous soil and spread over 100 feet wide.
The furrowed, reddish-orange bark, twigs and needles are all fragrant. It’s large and attractive in its native habitat but can struggle in hot summers and difficult sites.
Native plant recommendations from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, plantnebraska.org