Easily the most common pine growing in the valley near Redding is the grey pine. It is recognized by its greyish blue green needles and awkward shape. This pine does not grow in a conical shape like your typical pine tree. Its branches split and extend out all sorts of ways. It also is the pine which can grow at the lowest elevation. Its cones can grow larger than the size of your head, and have curved points coming off the scales of the cone.

If these cones don’t fall on your head and kill you when they fall, they can provide a tasty snack. They are loaded with delicious and nutritious pine nuts. You can simply smack the cone on a rock and knock out the seeds. They will have a hard outer shell that contains a small pine nut. They are super healthy and loaded with protein. 

Something that is interesting about pine trees, is they produce both female and male pine cones. The female cones are the cones you would typically think of when thinking of a pine cone. They are larger and covered in woody scales. The female pine cones produce the seeds. The male pine cones are much smaller. They produce pollen. The pine pollen can also be used as a source for wild yeast (more about wild yeast in the berries section). 

Pine trees also have pine needles. Pine needles are great for making herbal tea or adding unique flavoring to dishes. They are also very useful in a practical sense as well. The indigenous people in California use the needles (along with willows) to make baskets.