White Pine (Pinus strobus)

“…no other tree species inspires as much reverence and passion as the Eastern White Pine”.

Towering white pines, also called Eastern white pines, can grow up to 80 metres in height and live as long as 500 years. It’s the tallest tree in eastern North America and the Ontario provincial tree. Throughout the 1700s and 1800s, loggers harvested these trees extensively. Today, they are a protected species. A limited number of people have permission to harvest them.

Wildlife value the tree even more than people. Red squirrels, black bears, and birds eat the tree’s pine seeds. Meanwhile, mice, beavers, rabbits, and porcupines prefer its tasty bark. Numerous birds make their homes in the high branches of the white pine, including chickadees, grackles, woodpeckers, and nuthatches. In mature stands, the first half of the tree from the ground up remains bare, as branches develop closer to the canopy.

What Are the White Pine’s Characteristics?

Within 20 years, these trees grow to 7.5 meters. Mature trees vary in height based on their growing conditions and other factors. However, on average, white pines grow to heights of 45 meters. They form irregular pyramids and have needles that grow up to 12 centimetres long. The bluish tint and soft texture of the needles differ from many evergreens, which often have coarse needles. They are soft to the touch. (If you can reach them!)

How Do White Pines Handle Environmental Stress?

Not too well. Here is what might happen when white pines encounter pollution:

  1. Low levels of ozone, carbon dioxide or fluorides can cause loss of colour in needles and tip burn.
  2. Older needles fall off prematurely.
  3. Because white pines are often grown from seeds, genetic variability can also cause them to perform inconsistently in different landscapes.

Despite this vulnerability, these trees make a magnificent addition to residential property, parks, public areas, and private estates.

What is White Pine Used for?

The tall, strong white pine was used in the shipbuilding trade for centuries.White pine lumber keeps its shape without shrinking or warping. It has a straight, even grain that makes it easy to work with. So, many prefer it for applications requiring machining and hand tools.

DutchmasterNurseries sellswhite pine and other evergreens wholesale to contractors, landscapers, and other businesses. Contact uswith any questions you or your end clients may have about adding white pines to outdoor greenery.


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