Plant of the Month: Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine

January 8, 2020

Although there’s not too much blooming and showing off this time of year, you can still find a handful of plants that can brighten up any winter day. Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta ‘Chief Joseph’) will add a bit of sunny yellow to your garden where color may be lacking in winter.

In winter, its evergreen needles are a bright, golden color. By springtime, new needles are dark green and then mature to chartreuse in late summer. It’s stunning color and graceful appearance year around make it a great option for a focal plant.

Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta 'Chief Joseph') Photo Courtesy of Great Plant PicksChief Joseph Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta 'Chief Joseph') Photo Courtesy of Great Plant Picks
Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta ‘Chief Joseph’) Photo Courtesy of Great Plant Picks

Once established, the Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine is quite water wise. It should be planted in full sun (for the best coloring) and well-drained soils. It will get to be about 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide in about 10 years and up to 20 feet tall and 6 feet wide over 10 years, so it is slow growing.

Pinus contorta var. latifolia 'Chief Joseph' (Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine)
Pinus contorta var. latifolia ‘Chief Joseph’ (Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine)

What’s your favorite plant to brighten up a winter day? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

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