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Plant type



40 - 180 ft Tall



Growth rate








Flowering season


Common uses

Containers, Deer resistant

Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi), named in honor of its documenter John Jeffrey, is a North American pine related to Ponderosa Pine. It occurs from southwest Oregon south through much of California, including the Sierras, Coast Ranges, Transverse Range and Peninsular Range, to northern Baja California, Mexico. It is a high altitude species; in the north of its range, it grows widely at 1,500 to 2,100 meter (4,900 to 6,900 feet) altitude, and at 1,800 to 2,900 meter (5,900 to 9,500 feet) in the south of its range. The Jeffrey Pine is a large tree, reaching 25 to 40 meter (82 to 131 feet) tall, rarely up to 53 meter (174 feet) tall, though smaller when growing at or near tree line. The leaves are needle-like, in bundles of three, stout, waxy pale gray-green, 12 to 23 centimeter (4.7 to 9.1 inches) long. The cones are 12 to 24 centimeter (4.7 to 9.4 inches) long, dark purple when immature, ripening pale brown, with thinly woody scales bearing a short, sharp inward-pointing barb. The seeds are 10 to 12 millimeter (0.39 to 0.47 inches) long, with a large (15 to 25 millimeter (0.59 to 0.98 inches)) wing. In the Sierras and Peninsular Range it grows primarily on granite, but in the Coast Ranges it is found largely on Serpentine soils. The bark has a distinctive fragrance described as reminiscent of vanilla, lemon, pineapple, violets, apple, or butterscotch. It is tolerant of drought, cold and heat.


Full Sun, Partial Shade



Summer irrigation

Max 2x / month once established

Ease of care


Cold tolerance

Tolerates cold to -15° F

Soil drainage


Soil description

Prefers rich, forest soil with well-decomposed organic component derived from decaying wood. For garden purposes add redwood compost to soil mix.. Tolerates serpentine soil..
Soil PH: 5.2 - 7.9


Prune in winter when wood boring insects are less active.


For propagating by seed: Fresh seeds need no treatment; stored seeds 1-2 mos. stratification may improve germination (USDA Forest Service 1974).

Sunset Zones

1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*

Trees: White Fir (Abies concolor), Maple (Acer glabrum or macrophyllum), Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), Cherry (Prunus spp.), Oak (Quercus spp.), and Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica)

Shrubs: Manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), Ceanothus spp., Dogwood (Cornus spp.), Flannelbush (Fremontodendron spp.), Currant/Gooseberry (Ribes spp.), Sage (Salvia spp.), and Huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.)

Balsam Fir

Abies concolor

Incense Cedar

Calocedrus decurrens


Butterflies and moths supported

4 confirmed and 93 likely

Confirmed Likely

Acleris bowmanana

Common Gray|Cranberry Spanworm

Anavitrinella pampinaria

Argyrotaenia dorsalana

Orange Tortrix Moth

Argyrotaenia franciscana

Site type

Forested mountains

Plant communities

Red Fir Forest, Yellow Pine Forest,