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Eastern White Pine

Image of Eastern White Pine

Eastern White Pine

Pinus strobes, commonly know as the eastern with pine, white pine, northern white pine, is a large pine native to eastern North America.

It occurs from Newfoundland west through the Great Lakes Region to southeastern Manitoba and Minnesota, and south along the Mississippi Basin and Appalachian Mountains to the northern most Georgia and Mississippi.

This tree is known to the Native American Haudenosaunee (Iroquois nation) as the Tree of Peace. It is known as the Weymouth pine in the United Kingdom, after George Weymouth who brought it to England in 1620.

Pinus strobes is found in the Neartic Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Biome of eastern North America. It prefers well-drained soil and cool, humid climates but can also grow in boggy areas and rocky highlands. In mixed forests, this dominate tree towers over all others, including the large broadleaf hardwoods. It provides food and shelter for numerous forest birds, such as the Red Crossbill, and the small mammals such as squirrels.

Old growth forests, or virgin stands, are protected in Algonquin Provincial Park, Quetico Provincial Park, and Algoma Highlands Ontario and many parks in Eastern USA.

The eastern white pine has the distinction of being the tallest tree in eastern North America. In natural pre-colonial stands it is reported to have grown to as tall as 70 m (230 ft). White pine grows approximately 1m per year between the ages of 15 and 45 years, with slower height increments before and after that age range. The current tallest eastern white pines reach between 50-57.55 m, (164-188.8 ft)

Diameters of the larger pines range from 1.0-1.6m (3-5 ft), which translates to a circumference range of 3.1-5.0 m (10.2-16.4 ft).

Like all members of the with pine group the leaves (needles) are in fascicles (bundles) of 5 (rarely 3 or 4). They are bluish green, finely serrated, and 5-13 cm (2.0-5.1 in) long.

Mature trees can easily be 200 to 250 years old. Some white pines live over 400 years.

During the age of sailing ships, tall white pines with high quality wood were known as mast pines. Marked by agents of the crown in colonial times with the broad arrow, they were reserved for the British Royal Navy.

Eastern with pine is now widely grown in plantation forestry within its native area.

Old growth pine in the Americas, of various Pinus species, was a highly desired wood since huge, knot-free boards were the rule rather than the exception. Pine was common and easy to cut, thus many colonial homes used pine for panelling, floors and furniture.