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PINUS strobus

Image of Pinus strobus

Mark A. Miller

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

PINUS strobus

Plant Common Name

White Pine

General Description

Valued as a landscape and lumber tree, white pine is a stately, fast-growing evergreen with supple green needles and dark grayish brown bark. It is distributed across the eastern half of North America, from Newfoundland to Georgia, and grows best in open, upland areas with well-drained soils. Mature specimens become very tall, have straight trunks and broad, pyramidal crowns.

The long, flexible needles come in fascicles (groups) of five. These are fully evergreen and shed every two to three years. Separate male and female cones are produced in spring. The candle-shaped male cones release copious amounts of airborne pollen which drifts to the large conical female cones. The female cones are olive-green and rubbery when young, brown and woody at maturity. Female cones release winged seeds their second autumn, falling from the tree shortly thereafter.

White pine grows best in full sun and well-drained sandy loam. It is moderately weak-wooded and can be damaged by heavy snow or ice. It rarely needs pruning but can be limbed up as needed. The serious fungal disease, white pine blister rust, causes branch and stem cankers and heavy die back, which can devastate trees. The disease is carried by currants (Ribes), so avoid planting them nearby. Seedlings and young trees are most susceptible.

White pine makes a good specimen tree for large landscapes. Numerous cultivars have been selected. Dwarf forms are suitable for smaller landscapes and gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    50'-80' / 15.2m - 24.4m

  • Width

    20'-40' / 6.1m - 12.2m

  • Native To

    North America, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, North-Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fruit Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes