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Eastern White PinePinus strobus

  • White Pine - Pinus strobus
  • White Pine - Pinus strobus
  • White Pine - Pinus strobus

The eastern white pine has played a very important role throughout the history of America. In colonial days, the best of the trees were set apart by the king for masts on British ships. As the nation grew, the lumber of white pines built our homes and businesses.

Today it is still a valuable commercial tree but also favored in parks and spacious yards—both for its beauty and its fast growth. It has also been named the state tree of both Maine and Michigan.

Hardiness Zones

The eastern white pine can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 3–8. View Map

Tree Type

This is an evergreen tree, keeping its foliage year-round.

Mature Size

The eastern white pine grows to a height of 50–80' and a spread of 20–40' at maturity.

Growth Speed Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The eastern white pine grows in acidic, moist, well-drained and dry soils. While it does best in moist soil, the tree can has been known to tolerate everything from dry, rocky ridges to bogs.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Transplants easily.
  • Works well for windbreaks.
  • Is widely used as a Christmas tree.
  • Features long, slender, blue-green needles, sometimes reaching 5" in length, grown in bundles of 5 that are soft and flexible.
  • Produces elongated brown cones that are 3–8" in length. Each is curved slightly and has smooth scales.
  • Grows in an oval, pyramidal shape.
  • Is sensitive to air pollution, road salt and soil compaction.

Wildlife Value

Eastern white pine seeds are favored by black bears, rabbits, red squirrels and many birds, especially red crossbills. While potentially damaging to the trees, the bark is eaten by mammals such as beavers, snowshoe hares, porcupines, rabbits and mice. White pines provide nesting sites as well for many birds including woodpeckers, common grackles, mourning doves, chickadees and nuthatches.

History/Lore

Eastern white pine seeds are favored by black bears, rabbits, red squirrels and many birds, especially red crossbills. While potentially damaging to the trees, the bark is eaten by mammals such as beavers, snowshoe hares, porcupines, rabbits and mice. White pines provide nesting sites as well for many birds including woodpeckers, common grackles, mourning doves, chickadees and nuthatches.