Lodgepole Pine

::Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta):: The lodgepole pine is a true phoenix. It grew up with fire in the west, and it greets it as an old friend. When fire sweeps through the forest, the trees it touches die. That’s just the nature of things. But the lodgepole forest designates several trees as its phoenixes, ready and eager not only to greet the flames, but to collaborate. These special designees, unlike the rest of the lodgepoles, keep their pinecones closed tightly with a resin that can only be broken by extreme, fiery heat. When the rest of the trees and pinecones die, along with the underbrush, these pinecones burst open, reseeding the forest both in spite of and because of the fire. The lodgepole pine can quite happily seed itself and grow with or without fire. It is prepared and equipped for anything, ready to respond to destruction with creativity and fecundity. In the lodgepole forest, and in nature, creation has the last word after destruction. It’s not even a contest. The two are friends, dancing together.