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PlantFiles: Limber Pine
Pinus flexilis

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pinus (PY-nus) (Info)
Species: flexilis (FLEKS-il-iss) (Info)

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One member has or wants this plant for trade.


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Jan 30, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This good-looking soft pine from the western USA does well in the Midwest and East also. Some are sold at larger nurseries in northern and central Illinois as Matt Tures Nursery in Hinkley, IL. I've seen two plantings of this in southeast Pennsylvania doing well. It grows sort of stocky and only gets about 20 to 40 feet high in landscapes east of the Rocky Mts.The needles in bundles of 5 are shorter and thicker than White Pine. It grows about 1 ft/yr and is tolerant of heavy clay soils that are acid or slightly alkaline of about pH 4.5 to 7.5, and is tolerant of drought. It gets its name from its very flexible branches.

Neutral Xenomorf On Aug 14, 2009, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This pine tree can get up to about 5o ft. high with a 3 ft. diameter trunk. The mature trees have dark brown to black bark that is split by deep furrows while the younger trees have whitish gray and smooth bark. The yellow-brown cones are columnar in shape and don't have any prickles on the scales but have a blunt pointed tip. The scales are thick and rounded. The long pointed, dark green needles have silver-white lines on them, come bunched in about five to a bundle and are about 3.5" long. This pine occures in nature in the range of 7500-10,000 ft elevation and mostly in Spruce-fir forests and less often in Ponderosa forests. The trunk is fairly short and the crown is branched out widely with flexible, drooping, plumelike branches. The elk and deer browse the foliage and the squirrels eat the seeds. Amongst other places in Arizona, one can find this tree near Willow Springs Lake along with it also being endemic to CA, CO, ID, MT, ND, NE, NM, NV, OR, SD, UT and WY in the USA, and in Canada it is native to AB and BC.
Compared to the Southwestern White Pine (Pinus strobiformis), the Limber Pine has wider cones with blunt tips, the silvery lines on the needles and the ends of the branches droop.

Positive bevoreno On Jun 16, 2009, bevoreno from Reno, NV wrote:

Is there a more attractive pine? White and green striped needles, needles that are soft and don't bite, and outer bark that's smooth like a young aspen. Looks blue from a distance, what a great tree. These trees love Reno, its nice to see them becoming more mainstream. I gave my sister a 6 ft. Vanderwulf 4 years ago and after following my advice of snapping off the new candles she's been able to keep her tree absolutely perfect in shape, nice and full and still 6 ft to this day.

Neutral smiln32 On May 25, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This tree can reach 60' and has a neat dark gray, deeply furrowed bark.

Positive bounkey On Dec 6, 2002, bounkey wrote:

Have one planted in Raleigh, NC and it is doing well. However, it is planted on the north slope of a hill so it does not get full sun all day as I doubt a mountain tree like this would survive it. Gorgeous bluish needles and very interesting branching make it worthwhile to plant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Fredonia, Arizona
Prescott, Arizona
Champaign, Illinois
Wheaton, Illinois
Clayton, Indiana
Reno, Nevada
Beaverton, Oregon
Exton, Pennsylvania
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

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