December 2021 - Eastern White Pine

Common Name:  Eastern White Pine

Botanical Name: Pinus strobus

Native Range: Zone 3-8. 

Height: 60’ to 80’ The Champion White Pine is 132’ tall and 72’ wide

Spread: 20’-40’

Growth Rate: Medium to fast growth rate of 2’ to 3’ per year 

Soil: Well drained, acid soils. Chlorosis has been documented in white pines planted in high Ph soil.

Sun: Full sun is ideal

Leaf Description: Needles are borne in fascicles or groups of 5. Thin, soft, green to bluish-green. 3”-5”long

Fall Color: N/A

Flower Timing: N/A

Flower Description: N/A 

Fruit: Male cones are ½” long, clustered, yellowish brown; female purple-tinged green with 100 scales. Seed cone cylindrical with slight curve, 3-8” long, 1/1/2” wide, ripening light brown and spotted with white resin, opening in second year when seeds are dispersed. Cones develop on young trees so regeneration is amazingly reliable. 

Bark Description: Bark is smooth, grayish green in youth; dark gray-brown on large trunks, often furrowed longitudinally into broad, irregular thick ridges

Wildlife Benefit: Eastern white pine seeds are favored by many mammals and birds, especially red crossbills. White pines provide nesting sites for many birds including woodpeckers, common grackles, mourning doves, chickadees and nuthatches.

Tolerates: Well drained, acid soil, and full sun are ideal. NOT tolerable to wet site conditions. Does NOT tolerate salt. DOES tolerate Princeton Deer

Landscape Uses: Groupings, screens, hedges, specimen evergreen.

Possible Insects and Disease: White pine canker. Insect problems include white pine weevil, bark beetles, white pine shoot borer, pine sawfly, scale and aphids. Spider mites are occasional visitors in some areas.

Additional Facts:

  • The Eastern White Pine is Native to Northeastern United States, however can grow as north as Canada and as south as Alabama
  • ‘Pendula’ is a weeping cultivar that has an irregular habit that is used more as a specimen tree in lawn areas. Approximately 15’ by 15’. 
  • Eastern White Pine is one of the most widely used timbers for construction lumber in the northeast United States. The wood is light, durable, and easy to work. The long, straight trunks were once prized for use as ship masts. 
  • In the 19th century, the harvesting of Midwestern white pine forests played a major role in America's westward expansion through the Great Plains. A quarter million white pines were harvested and sent to lumber yards in Chicago in a single year.
  • Eastern white pine needles contain five times the amount of Vitamin C (by weight) of lemons and has been used to make an herbal tea

Where to be found on municipal property:

  • White pines can be found at Mountain Lakes Preserve along the white trail and also near the Mountain Lake House. Enter the white trail from the parking lot on Mountain Ave and head north.
  • Mature white pine screen can be found at Marquand Park at the cross street of Lovers Lane and Stockton Street.

See How Much a White Pine is Worth 


Dirr, M. A.; Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. 2019

Printable Info Sheet (PDF)

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