Thursday, December 21, 2017
Eastern White Pine - Pinus strobus
White Pines - Pinus strobus are a large growing evergreen with blue-green needles that are generally 2 1/2-5 inches long. The needles grow very densely on the branches. Pines are different from other conifers/evergreens, their needles grow in sheathed groups of 2,3 or 5. It is a tall tree with straight gray-brown trunk and horizontal growing branches. The cones are small and slender rarely growing longer then 3-6 inches. White Pines can live on average 200-250 years although there are a few recorded to be over 400 years old. Growing about 3 feet per year between the ages of 15-45, but at a slower rate in the juvenille and mature stages before and after that point-they can reach heights well over 150 feet tall, one record holder came in at 207 feet (The Boogerman Pine).
The White Pine has a very wide growth range from the North Eastern United States through Southeastern Canada, this is the only five needled Pine that grows East of the Rocky Mountains. Another five needled Pine found in the United States is the Sugar Pine, this is only found in the West. Thought to have originally covered most of the Eastern United States, there are only 1% of the original old growth forests remaining, after the extensive logging operations that occured in the early 20th century. It is found in the neartic temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome of Eastern North America. Prefering well drained/sandy soils and humid climate, it also performs well in boggy areas and rocky highlands. This tree towers over most others including many broadleaf hardwoods and provides food and shelter to many small mammals and numerous forest birds.
Image Citation: Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org