EASTERN WHITE PINE - PINUS STROBUS

Common Name: eastern white pine

Scientific Name: 
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Species: strobus

Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 75 to 100+ ft
Width: 50 to 80 ft
 

Common characteristics:

The white pine can reach heights of 80' to 100' tall and diameters up to 42". It has a straight trunk and pyramidal shape with soft gray-green foliage. Branches on young trees extend horizontally in circle arrangements called whorls. The bark is thin, smooth, and greenish-gray on young trees, becoming thick, deeply furrowed, and grayish-brown with age. The needles are soft and flexible, they are a bluish-green on the upper surface and a whitish color beneath, they occur in bundles of five. Its cones are 4" to 8" long and cylindrical with thin gummy scales, each scale containing two small winged seeds. The cones will mature at end of the second season and then fall.

Where it grows:

Prefers to be grown in acidic, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers cool weather in humid climates, with cool summers. Intolerant of compacted, clay soils, alkaline conditions, and many air pollutants. 

How it’s used:

The eastern white pine makes an excellent specimen tree for lawns or parks. Site in areas with adequate space to accommodate future growth. If given the time this will make a stunning fixture of your lawn or park. 

Ecosystem services:

Used by browsers, game birds, small mammals, songbirds, and insects. Porcupines and deer will seek out this tree and can be harmful. 

Where it is native to:

Native to the Eastern United States and into the Lake States. Minnesota was once home to vast old-growth eastern white pine forests. Logging of Minnesota resulted in almost all of these old-growth forests being cut down.

Known Varieties and Their Traits:

Blue Shag Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus 'Blue Shag'): A dwarf variety growing only 2 to 3 feet high.

Dwarf Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus 'Nana' ):  A compact or dwarf cultivar, 3-5 feet wide and tall.

Fastigiate Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus ‘Fastigiata’ ):  This narrow, upright cultivar grows 30-50 feet tall and 10-20 feet wide.

Weeping Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’ ):   Typically 15 to 20 feet high and 12 to 15 foot wide. Blue-green needles cascade from twisting, weeping branches.  This weeping form may require some training to produce a leader that will affect the ultimate height and spread of the plant.

Problems:

Susceptible to chlorosis symptoms in high pH soils. Sensitive to salt and air pollution. Pest and pathogen problems include White Pine Weevil and White Pine Blister Rust, both of which can be fatal.

References:

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. (Pinus strobus) Found online: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/trees/eastern-white-pine.html

Missouri Botanical Garden. (Plant Finder) Found Online: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=285004&isprofile=1&basic=Pinus%20strobus

The Morton Arboretum. (Trees & Plants) Found Online: https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/eastern-white-pine

E. white pine form
E. white pine bark
E. white pine twig
E. white pine foliage 1
E. white pine foliage 2
E. white pine foliage 3
E. white pine cone