Eastern White Pine (Strobus)

The Eastern White Pine (Strobus) is generally described as a perennial tree. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring and summer . The greatest bloom is usually observed in the late spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until fall. Leaves are retained year to year. The Eastern White Pine (Strobus) has a moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Eastern White Pine (Strobus) will reach up to 150 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 40 feet.

The Eastern White Pine (Strobus) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by bare root, container, cuttings, seed. It has a slow ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have medium vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -33°F. has none tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Timber: The wood of white pine is light, durable, and easy to work. It is good lumber for toys, boxes, cabinet work, and similar items.

Christmas tree and ornamental: White pine is used occasionally in Christmas tree plantations and as ornamental planting in landscaping around homes and office buildings. It can also be sheared as a hedge.

Wildlife: It has fair wildlife value. Gray and red squirrels, deer, mice and 16 species of songbirds have been known to eat the seed.

Erosion control: White pine is frequently used for windbreaks and screens along fields new right-of-ways and around campsites.

General Characteristics

Pinus strobus L, eastern white pine, is the largest conifer of the eastern and upper Midwest forests, reaching 150 feet in height and up to 40 inches in diameter. In dense stands, trees produce tall, cylindrical stems with pyramidal shaped crowns, characterized by distinctive, plate like branching, especially noticeable as the trees become older. On young growth, the bark remains rather thin, smooth, and greenish-brown in color. On older trees the bark becomes deeply fissured and dark grayish-brown in color. Its evergreen needles are in clusters of 5, soft, flexible, 2 1/2 to 5 inches long, and bluish-green in appearance. Its cones are about 4 to 8 inches long and 1 inch thick. These remain attached for 1 to several months after ripening in the autumn of the second season.

Required Growing Conditions

Eastern white pine grows on a variety of soils ranging from light, sandy to heavy textured soils. White pine ranges across southern Canada from Manitoba to Newfoundland, throughout the northern and eastern states from Minnesota and northern Iowa to the Atlantic coast, and southward along the Appalachian mountains to northern Georgia and Alabama.

Cultivation and Care

Seedlings of white pine are grown in nursery beds for field planting. They may either be left in the nursery for 2 to 3 years and directly planted into the field, or they may be transplanted after the second year and left in a transplant bed for 1 or 2 years before field plantings. This will produce a seedling approximately 12 to 16 inches in height with 1/4 to 1/2 inch caliper. Field establishment of seedlings is accomplished with tree planting procedures, using machine transplanters or hand planting.

General Upkeep and Control

White pine seedlings require weed control for the first few years after outplanting. Chemical and/or mechanical control can be used, preferably starting the year before planting.

Management of white pine should focus on thwarting the white pine weevil where straight trunks and tree form is desired. Growing white pine where there will be partial shade on the developing saplings and pole-sized trees (especially on the terminal leader) seems to reduce infestation by the weevil. Thus growing white pine in mixed uneven aged stands is a good idea to avoid this pest and those described below.

Pests and Potential Problems The white pine weevil is the tree's greatest insect pest affecting both timber quality and volume. Terminal leaders may be killed repeatedly and result in such serious stem crooks that the tree has reduced merchantable saw timber value.

The pales weevil is an insect that often attacks white pine seedlings in areas where white pine timber has been cut recently. Cone crops may be destroyed by the pine cone beetle. This insect compounds the problem of infrequent seed years and is a serious threat to white pine management.

Diseases, including white pine blister rust, red ring rot, root rot, wood decay, and certain needle fungi, cause losses in white pine stands. Such natural elements as snow, ice, and wind may also cause damage to white pine.

Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin) There are no documented varieties for reforestation purposes. Local or regional ecotypes are typically utilized for this purpose. There are several varieties available for ornamental applications. Seeds and seedlings are available from most eastern conifer nurseries.

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Rapid
General Type Tree
Growth Period Spring, Summer
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Moderate
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability Routinely Available
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Late Spring
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Single Stem
Drought Tolerance None
Shade Tolerance Intermediate
Height When Mature 150
Vegetative Spread None
Flower Color Red
Flower Conspicuousness No
Fruit/Seed Abundance Medium
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Summer Fall
Seed Spread Rate Slow
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Bare Root, Container, Cuttings, Seed
Moisture Requirements Medium
Cold Stratification Required Yes
Minimum Temperature -33
Soil Depth for Roots 40
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Rapid
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 4–6.5 pH
Precipitation Range 20–20 inches/yr
Planting Density 430–1200 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 40
Minimum Frost-Free Days 90 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance None
CaCO3 Tolerance None
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention Yes
Palatability Medium
Fire Resistant No
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA