Red Pine aka Norway Pine
(Pinaceae Pinus resinosa)
Adopted in 1953.
The red or Norway pine (Pinus resinosa) was made official in 1953. (Minnesota Statutes 1.143)
Through the efforts of the Friday Study Club in Minneapolis, and backed by the Minnesota Federation
of Women's Clubs, the Norway pine designation was passed in 1953. It was sponsored by Sen.
Gordon H. Butler and Rep. George A. French, and signed into law by Governor C. Elmer Anderson
on February 18, 1953. The language of Chapter 20 noted the sturdiness and majesty of the tree,
and how it helped lay the foundation for the wealth of Minnesota. Red pines are tall, stately
trees that reach heights of 60 to nearly 150 feet. Their trunks are straight and uniform and
may grow to five feet in diameter. When mature, the trees usually are bare of branches for
two-thirds of the way up the trunk, with rounded tops or “crowns.”
red pine (Pinus resinosa) is pine native to North America. The Red Pine occurs
from Newfoundland west to Manitoba, and south to Pennsylvania, with several smaller, disjunct
populations occurring in the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as
a few small pockets in extreme northern New Jersey and one in north central Illinois
The Norway Pine is also called the red pine because of its reddish brown bark, stands 60
to 100 feet tall, with a trunk three to five feet wide. Its needles are four to six inches
long and grow in pairs.
The tallest Norway pine in Minnesota is in Itasca State Park. It is over 300 years old and
stands 120 feet high. Red pine is one of the most extensively planted species in the northern
United States and Canada. It is a medium-size tree with lightweight, close-grained, pale reddish
wood used primarily for timber and pulpwood. Trees 97 cm (38 in) in d.b.h. and 43 m (141 ft)
tall in Michigan are among the largest living specimens.
Norway Pine is also called the red pine.
The name Norway comes from early explorers who thought the tree was a pine they had seen
back home in Norway. Perhaps because so many Norwegians live here, Minnesota is the only state
that still uses the term Norway. The Norway pine is extremely resistant to insects and disease.
Identification of the Red Pine aka Norway Pine
- Leaf: Evergreen, 4 to 6 inches long, with two needles per fascicle that snap
cleanly when doubled.
- Flower: Monoecious; males almost round, light red, in large clusters at branch
tips; females a round, short cone, reddish-brown.
- Fruit: Cones are ovoid, broad near the base and tapering to a point at the tip;
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long. The apophysis is chestnut brown and the umbo is not armed. Maturing
August to October.
- Twig: Medium textured, orange-brown in color with orange-brown buds.
- Bark: On young trees, red-brown or pink to gray, flaky. Eventually becoming plated,
the plates have scaly surfaces.
- Form: A medium-size tree with an ovoid crown and a clear bole. Foliage is tufted,
resembling a fox tail.
JURISDICTION, CIVIL DIVISIONS.
CHAPTER 1 - SOVEREIGNTY, JURISDICTION, EMERGENCY OPERATION, GENERAL POLICIES.
1.143 STATE TREE.
Subdivision 1.Red or Norway pine.
The Red pine (Pinus resinosa), more commonly known as Norway pine, is designated as the official
state tree of the state of Minnesota.
A photograph of the Red pine, to be obtained and approved by the commissioner of natural resources,
shall be certified and preserved in the Office of the Secretary of State.
1953 c 20 s 1; 1983 c 119 s 2; 1984 c 628 art 1 s 1
Taxonomic Hierarchy of the Red Pine
||Plantae -- Plants
||Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
||Spermatophyta --Seed plants
||Pinaceae --Pine family
||Pinus L. --pine
||Pinus resinosa Soland. --red pine
Dendrology at Virginia Tech
US Department of Agriculture
All of the state trees, except the Hawaii state tree, are native to the state in which they are designated.