White Pine: The Largest Pine in the United States

White Pine
4/14/2015

The white pine (Pinus Strobus L) holds a special place in our hearts at Christmas Tree Farms because it is the state tree of Michigan (and also of Maine). But actually, the white pine can be found in an abundant of enivronments all over the country. Also known as the eastern white pine, northern white pine, Weymouth pine, and soft pine, it can survive in very boggy areas as well as rocky areas, but it’s most ideal place to grow is in moist, sandy loam soils.

Originally vastly used as lumber, the white pine is the largest tree in the species with a height upwards from 80 feet and a diameter of 2-3 feet. A six-foot tree (for the purposes of a Christmas tree) will take 6-8 years to grow. But after it reaches about 15 years of age, it will grow much faster. Young bark is smooth and a greenish-brown, turning more of a dark-grey as the tree ages.

The white pine has good needle retention with soft, bluish-green flexible needles in bundles of five, about 2 ½ to 5 inches long. It is not recommended for heavy ornaments, but its lack of a strong aroma is great for those who tend to get allergies from some of the stronger scented trees.

On the white pine, both the male and female strobili are on the same tree, with pollination in the spring. The cones are 4-8 inches long, slightly curved, and known to give off a fragrant, gummy resin.

Here are some more fun facts about the history of the white pine:

  • Scientists have declared the largest white pin in the United States to reside in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, measuring 188.9 feet tall. It has been nicknamed the “Boogerman Pine.”
  • The white pine more sensitive than other species of trees to pollutants such as ozone, fluorides, and sulfur dioxide.
  • White pines can be found in areas at sea level as well as areas in the Appalachian Mountains with a northern range of 5,000 feet.
  • Early native-Americans used the inner bark as food while later, colonists used the inner bark as an ingredient in cough remedies.
  • During colonial times, any white pine that was more than 24 inches in diameter was saved for England to be used as a ship mast. They identified these trees with a broad arrow on the trunk. This “broad arrow” policy was just another source of disagreement between the colonists and Britian.

At Christmas Farms, we offer white pines as Christmas trees with free shipping. You pick the delivery date, and we’ll make sure it gets there. Your tree will come ready to undress and decorate, making less work for you. We also offer garlands and wreaths made with white pine as well as a variety of other trees including the blue spruce, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, Balsam fir, Scotch pine, white spruce, Canaan fir, and Concolor.

Tags: white pine