Pine Trees in Northern Canada

  1. My neighbor recently visited Northern Canada on a hunting trip. He took a great many photos. Upon review, I noticed they have very tall and skinny pine trees with very full tops. He described the soil as very thin, perhaps less than 12", and solid rock below.

    Accordingly, I'm wondering if anyone is knowledgeable about the characteristics of these trees.

    It appears they are skinny to resist wind resistance. However, given their height and the reported soil thickness, I would assume the root systems would resemble an inter-woven quilt through the soil and above the rock?

    Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. You get tall and skinny pine trees with full tops anywhere in a dense forest.


    Which gets more obvious when you start cutting them down.
  4. Understood, however, the trees in the photos I saw didn't look like these - the branches were MUCH skinnier.
  5. I don't see thick branches there. But anyway there are many pine species with different looks. The one in the pic seems a Pinus sylvestris to me, which is not that abundant in Canada. Notice the complete different shape, when they get more room to grow.

    Typical arctic adaptation is dwarf growth and occasionally dead tops when the snow protected the lower parts from freezing to death. Unfortunately I cant' find a good picture to illustrate that.
  6. turbo

    turbo 7,063
    Gold Member

    Borrow or rent the Planet Earth video series. You'll see that what we call the Boreal forest requires special adaptations if trees are to survive there.
  7. How do I make the picture appear?
  8. Couldn't delete-just edit?
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  9. got it
  10. here is your pic in a decent size. Sometimes you have to download it, resize it with some program like paint, not to exceed 800 pixels in width and then re-up it somewhere like in and then link to it with tags


    If you can delete the big picture, the thread stays manageable.

    Also note that the trees we're looking at are maybe spruce, like this, not pines.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  11. Thank you Andre! I saved the tinypic site for future use.
  12. Yes Andre, I see the similarity to the Spruce. Either way, would the root systems on this type of tree typically grow in a wide pattern and interwoven in the shallow soil?
  13. That's what you would expect, Here is some more information.
  14. Your link is quite helpful Andre - thank you. I do find it surprising the trees grow best in well-drained soils. I observed growths in a very moist flood plain that were comparable to growths on a well drained hillside?
  15. davenn

    davenn 4,346
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2014 Award

    Also note that in forrestry plantations, trees often get trimmed of their lower branches quickly as they grow.
    This encourages the tree to grow straighter and also to have fewer and smaller knots along the length of the trunk
    Both these features are required for good lumber production

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