Jeffrey pine is a noble tree of the Sierra above 5000 feet, reaching from Oregon to Baja California, and seen in typical form at Stanford Sierra Camp on Fallen Leaf Lake. There are three needles to a bunch, each about 8 inches long. The cones are the same length more or less, and are nice to handle, despite incurved prickles. The bark is constructed in flakes shaped like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which, unlike ponderosa pine, smell like vanilla when freshly broken off. Larger trees develop a distinctly yellowish tinge in the bark. The 202-foot state champion (1984) is in Stanislaus National Forest. It may be possible to distinguish Jeffrey pine from ponderosa pine in the wild, but cultivated specimens of unrecorded provenance can sometimes be hard to tell apart. See a young specimen at the Carnegie Institution on Panama Street just beyond the edge of the back lawn situated between Searsville Road and Campus Drive.
Name derivation: Pinus – Latin for pine; jeffreyi – after John Jeffrey (1826–54), gardener at Edinburgh Botanic Garden, who discovered it.
About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. John Rawlings subsequently clarified the exact location of the Carnegie specimen (c 2005).