Pinyon pine, native to Arizona and much of the West, commonly occurs in mixed stands of juniper to form the pinyon-juniper woodlands and is the state tree of New Mexico. Pinyon pine is typically a small bushy to 20 feet tall and 8 inches in diameter, with a short trunk and rounded, open crown. The largest pinyon pine grows near Cuba, New Mexico, and is 69 feet tall with a circumference of 17 feet 9 inches.
Numerous birds and mammals use the foliage for shelter or eat the highly nutritious seeds. Many Native American groups have relied on pinyon nuts as a food source for thousands of years and now export these delicacies to markets throughout the world. In 1940, 16 boxcar loads (60,000 pounds) of pinyon nuts were shipped from Flagstaff to New York City, where they were sold like salted peanuts by street vendors. Today, consumers pay a premium price for products such as pine-nut butter, pesto, roasted pinyon nuts, and pinyon coffee. Raw or roasted pinyon nuts cost between $5 and $10 per pound, depending on the harvest.
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