Ponderosa Pine

Happy Earth Day!
I love going on walks along the Metolius River outside of Sisters, Oregon to admire the Ponderosa Pines in our western forests. Standing staunch and regal, their puzzle piece-like bark first sparked my idea to create jewelry from trees. With flamboyant needles, stiff silhouettes, and gargantuan pinecones, Ponderosa Pines seem to shout, “Make way for the Queen's Guard!
Along with their inspirational bark texture, Ponderosa Pine’s mind-bending ability to survive low intensity forest fires make them one of our more remarkable trees. Their soldier-like presence in the forest is mirrored in their soft wood grain and controlled rings. Consistent and reliable, Ponderosa Pine wood is a delight and a comfort to work with. You can often find newly fallen branches with a deep blue tint to the wood. There is a dark side to this beautiful stain, though. The Pine Beetle, an infamous enemy of the Ponderosa, can kill large swaths of trees in a matter of two years.
Fun Fact: Have you ever noticed that pines are very top heavy with their branches? That’s because they shed their lower branches quickly when they’re maturing. This is a built-in firefighting technique! As long as the forests are managed appropriately, they’re extremely resilient during fire season.