Eastern White Pine
Pinus strobus

Eastern White Pine (8)


The Eastern White Pine is a fast-growing coniferous tree that matures to heights of 80 to 110 feet (6).The branches of the White Pine form a whorled pattern around the straight trunk (5) and the cones of this conifer are 5 to 8 inches long (4).The needles, which are 3 to 5 inches long, are bundled in groups of five per fascicle (4), which makes the White Pine the only pine with five needles that is native to Eastern North America (6).Mature bark of the White Pine is a gray-brown color and is deeply ridged (4).The Eastern White Pine can reach an age of more than 400 years, although ages of approximately 200 years are more common (7).The White Pine can be propagated by seed, but cold stratification is required before germination can take place (7).

Location on Campus

The Eastern White Pine tree can be found in the clearing next to the right side of the road that leads from the North Entrance of campus toward the B. Thomas Golisano Academic Complex.


Native Habitat and Current Range



This tree is native to Eastern North America and can be found in Newfoundland and Ontario, as well as states such as New York, Maryland, and Maine (6). 


Optimal Growing Conditions

Eastern White Pine needles (2)

The White Pine does best in partial shade to full sun (5) in cool and humid climates (7). These trees grow well in soils that are well-drained, acidic, and moist (7). They are sensitive to pollution, clay soils, and alkaline soils, and therefore do not grow well in urban areas (5).White Pines do well in mountainous regions, particularly the mountains of New England, Southern Canada, and Appalachia (5).


Economic Importance



Wood from the White Pine is often used in carpentry to make doors, cabinets, paneling, and furniture.The wood is soft and of moderate strength; White Pine wood is easy to work with and stain (3).††  


Ethnobotanical and Cultural Information



Native Americans often boiled or soaked the bark of the White Pine and then used the bark to treat wounds (3).


Fascinating Facts

Eastern White Pine cones (2)

        White Pines are often used for Christmas trees (5).

        Eastern White Pines are susceptible to White Pine blister rust, (a fungus), and to attack by the White Pine weevil (6).

        The cones of the Eastern White Pine are the longest of any conifer found in the state of Michigan (4).

        In the 1800ís, the British Navy used the White Pine for the masts of their ships (1).

        The Eastern White Pine is the official tree of Ontario, Canada and is also the state tree of Maine and Michigan (7)


Other interesting sites



TreeGuide State Tree List 
This site lists the official trees of each state in the U.S. and each province in Canada.

White Pine Planting and Care  
This site offers detailed directions on how to plant and care for an Eastern White Pine.


References: Articles, Books, Reference Materials, and the Web



1.               Elanora Heights School.  1997.  Eastern White Pine.    http://www.zip.com.au/~elanora/tcwhite.html.  Accessed 9/23/03.

2.               Farrar D, Gardner A.  2002.  Pinus strobus (Eastern White Pine).  http://www.iastate.edu/~bot356/species/species/p_tSpecie/PinuStro.html.  Accessed 11/18/03.

3.               Littleflower Publications.  2003.  Medicinal Plants of North America.  http://www.geocities.com/littleflowers_medicinal_plants/whitepnativeuse.htm.  Accessed 9/23/03  

4.               Michigan State University Extension.  2003.  The Pine Group of Conifers.   http://forestry.msu.edu/uptreeid/Species/pines.htm.  Accessed 10/28/03.

5.               Ohio State University Horticulture and Crop Science Department.  2003.  Pinus strobus.  http://www.hcs.ohio-state.edu/hcs/TMI/Plantlist/pi_robus.html.  Accessed 11/17/03.   

6.               Petrides G.  1986.  Peterson Field Guides: A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs.  2nd ed.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.  428 p. 

7.               Rook E.  1999.  Pinus strobus: White Pine.   http://www.rook.org/earl/bwca/nature/trees/pinusstrob.html.  Accessed 9/23/03.

8.               South Carolina Forestry Commission.  2003.  White Pine Tree.   http://www.state.sc.us/forest/whitepine.jpg.  Accessed 11/18/03.


Created by:  Tricia Jones



Nazareth College



Plant Biology 2003