Plant DetailShow Menu

Similar but less problematic plants:
Pinus jeffreyi Form
Pinus strobus is often confused with:
Cedrus atlantica Cedrus atlantica bark
Pinus flexilis Pinus flexilis
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Juniperus virginiana Juniperus virginiana
Fraxinus americana Fraxinus americana
Pinus taeda Growing in a stand

Pinus strobus

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
PY-nus STROH-bus
Description

Eastern White Pine is an evergreen gymnosperm tree that may grow 50 to 80 feet tall. The tree has 3- to 5-inch slender needles in clusters of 5. The needle clusters are deciduous. The bark is green with some lighter patches in young trees. As the tree ages, the bark turns reddish-brown with prominent finely-scaly, rounded, long ridges and darker furrows. In spring, cylindrical, yellow, male flowers and light green, female flowers mature in clusters. The tree produces a resinous cone.

The Eastern White Pine grows naturally in high, dry, sandy and rocky ridges and is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions. However, it most prefers full sun, moist, well-drained, fertile sandy loams, and cool, humid climates and full sun. It is intolerant of many air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and ozone, salts, and alkaline soils. 

An important timber tree (perhaps more so in the 18th and 19th centuries than now) which was and is valued for its lightweight, straight-grained wood (orange heartwood and white sapwood). This plant is an attractive ornamental landscape tree. It is utilized as a Christmas tree, and exterior in large areas (parks, commercial, estates), hedges, and borders. Cones are sold as tree decorations for models, model railroading, Christmas decorations, however, when placed upright, the "snow" is on the lower side of branches. This plant is very susceptible to white pine blister rust and the white pine weevil.

 

Fire Risk: This plant has a high flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home. Select plants with a low flammability rating for the sites nearest your home. 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  In cool summer locations, white pine can grow quite well. It is, however, susceptible to a large number of insect and disease problems. Blights and rusts are the main diseases, with its most dangerous enemy being white pine blister rust which is a bark disease that is usually fatal. Species of Ribes (e.g., currants and gooseberries) are the alternate host for white pine blister rust and should not be planted in areas where white pines are under attack. White pine blister rust is not currently a problem in Missouri. Additional disease problems of significance include canker. Insect problems include white pine weevil, bark beetles, white pine shoot borer, Zimmerman moth larvae, pine sawfly, scale, and aphids. Spider mites are occasional visitors in some areas.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Gymnosperm tree with branches and twigs whorled
  • Needles are bluish-green, soft, pliable, and in fives
  • Cones are narrow cylindrical, scales whiten at the apex

 

VIDEO Created by Homegrown featuring Jeff Owen, Area Extension Forestry Specialist for NC State Extension

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Bonsai Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Fastigiata', 'Nana', 'Pendula'
Tags:
#evergreen#deciduous#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#conifer#bonsai#cover plant#tsc#rabbit resistant#squirrels#food source#cpp#fire#high flammability#NC native#mice#black bears#beavers#porcupines#deer resistant#fire risk#Braham Arboretum#fantz#cover#food source fall#food source herbage#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#Christmas tree#Christmas decorations#tsc-cg#audubon#christmas
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Fastigiata', 'Nana', 'Pendula'
Tags:
#evergreen#deciduous#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#conifer#bonsai#cover plant#tsc#rabbit resistant#squirrels#food source#cpp#fire#high flammability#NC native#mice#black bears#beavers#porcupines#deer resistant#fire risk#Braham Arboretum#fantz#cover#food source fall#food source herbage#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#Christmas tree#Christmas decorations#tsc-cg#audubon#christmas
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pinus
    Species:
    strobus
    Family:
    Pinaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used for tar, furniture, christmas tree and bark used as astringent and expectorant or antiseptic.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northeastern United States and Canada
    Distribution:
    Canada/ME west to Minnesota south to Arkansas east to Georgia
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Its white pine seeds are favored by black bears, rabbits, red squirrels and many birds.  The bark is eaten by mammals such as beavers, porcupines, rabbits and mice.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This tree is moderately resistant to damage from deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Conical
    Horizontal
    Pyramidal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Cylindrical, brown cones on the Eastern White Pine ( 6-8" long) are usually not produced until the tree reaches 5-10 years old. They fully mature by the summer of the second season, releasing seeds in July and August and persisting through September. The cones are stalked, curved, and have white lines on the lower side, the scales lacking spines. Often curved that browns with age. Umbo is blunt and obtuse.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    In spring, the Eastern White Pine produces cylindrical, yellow, male flowers and light green, female flowers that mature in clusters. Flowers bloom in April.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Acicular
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Bluish-green needles (3" to 5" long) are flexible, soft to the touch, and appear in bundles of five (5 per fascicle). Each needle has 3-5 white lines of stomata on two surfaces of the needle. The needle clusters are deciduous, falling off after approximately two years.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Smooth
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Round
    Bark Description:
    The bark is smooth and green with some lighter patches in young trees. As the tree ages, the bark turns reddish brown to dark gray with prominent finely-scaly, rounded, long ridges and darker furrows.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The trunk is tall and straight with a pyramidal crown. Branches curve upwards, forming whorls with long internodes that each represent a year of growth.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits