Eastern White Pine, a Common Tree in North America

Pinus strobus, a Top 100 Common Tree in North America

White pine is the tallest native conifer in eastern North America. Pinus strobus is the state tree of Maine and Michigan and is the Ontario arboreal emblem. Unique identifying markers are the tree's branching rings which are added each year and the only five-needled eastern pine. Needle bundles cluster in a brush-like formation.

The Silviculture of Eastern White Pine

eastern white pine tree needles
(Johndan Johnson-Eilola/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0)

Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), and sometimes called northern white pine, is one of the most valuable trees in eastern North America. Vast stands in white pine forests had been logged during the last century but because it is a prolific grower in northern forests, the conifer is doing well. It is an excellent tree for reforestation projects, a consistent lumber producer and often used in the landscape and for Christmas trees. White pine has "the distinction of having been one of the more widely planted American trees" according to the United States Forest Service.

The Images of Eastern White Pine

bald eagle sitting in a pine tree
A bald eagle in an eastern white pine in Minocqua, Wisconsin. (John Picken/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0)

Forestryimages.org provides several images of parts of Eastern white pine. The tree is a conifer and the lineal taxonomy is Pinopsida > Pinales > Pinaceae > Pinus strobus L. Eastern white pine is also commonly called northern white pine, soft pine, weymouth pine and white pine.

The Range of Eastern White Pine

Distribution map of eastern white pine trees in North America
Partial distribution map of Pinus strobus in North America. (Elbert L. Little, Jr./U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service/Wikimedia Commons)

Eastern white pine is found across southern Canada from Newfoundland, Anticosti Island, and Gaspé peninsula of Quebec; west to central and western Ontario and extreme southeastern Manitoba; south to southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa; east to northern Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey; and south mostly in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia and northwestern South Carolina. It is also found in western Kentucky, western Tennessee, and Delaware. A variety grows in the mountains of southern Mexico and Guatemala.

Fire Effects on Eastern White Pine

forest fire
(David R.Frazier/Getty Images)

This pine is the first tree to pioneer forest disturbance within its range. USFS sources say that the "Eastern white pine colonizes burns if a seed source is nearby."

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Nix, Steve. "Eastern White Pine, a Common Tree in North America." ThoughtCo, Sep. 1, 2021, thoughtco.com/eastern-white-pine-common-tree-northamerica-1342787. Nix, Steve. (2021, September 1). Eastern White Pine, a Common Tree in North America. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/eastern-white-pine-common-tree-northamerica-1342787 Nix, Steve. "Eastern White Pine, a Common Tree in North America." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/eastern-white-pine-common-tree-northamerica-1342787 (accessed March 26, 2023).

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