Pinus strobus (eastern white pine) description

Conservation status

Pinus strobus

Linnaeus 1753, p. 1001

Frequent names

Jap white pine, northern white pine, white pine; pin blanc [French]; biisaandago-zhingwaak [Ojibwe].

Taxonomic notes

Syn: Strobus strobus (Linnaeus) Small (Kral 1993). Previously, many authors regarded Pinus chiapensis as a wide range of P. strobus, however it’s now usually seen as a definite species.


Timber to 30-67 m tall and 100-180 cm in diameter, straight; crown conic, turning into rounded to irregular or flattened. Bark darkening and thickening as tree ages, turning into gray-brown, deeply furrowed with broad ridges of irregularly rectangular, purple-tinged scaly plates. Branches whorled, spreading-upswept; twigs slender, pale red-brown, glabrous or pale puberulent, getting old grey, ±clean. Buds ovoid-cylindric, gentle red-brown, 0.4-0.5 cm, barely resinous. Needles 5 per fascicle, spreading to ascending, persisting 2-Three years, 6-10 cm × 0.7-1 mm, straight, barely twisted, pliant, deep inexperienced to blue-green, pale stomatal traces evident solely on adaxial surfaces, margins finely serrulate, apex abruptly acute to short-acuminate; sheath 1-1.5 cm, shed early. Staminate cones quite a few, ellipsoid, 10-15 mm, yellow. Ovulate cones maturing in 2 years, shedding seeds and falling quickly thereafter, clustered, pendent, symmetric, cylindric to lance-cylindric or ellipsoid-cylindric earlier than opening, ellipsoid-cylindric to cylindric or lance-cylindric when open, (7)8-20 cm, gray-brown to pale brown, with purple or grey tints, stalks 2-Three cm; apophyses barely raised, resinous at tip; umbo terminal, low. Seeds compressed, broadly obliquely obovoid; physique 5-6 mm, tapering at each ends, red-brown mottled with black; wing 1.8-2.5 cm, pale brown. 2n=24 (Elias 1987, Kral 1993).

Distribution and Ecology

Canada: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Québec, Ontario, and Manitoba; France: St. Pierre and Miquelon; and USA: All states E from Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia to the Atlantic Ocean (excepting Florida); the range in Mexico and Guatemala. Discovered at sea stage within the N, and as much as 1500 m within the S. Prefers well-drained soils and a cool, humid local weather. Varieties combined stands with Tsuga canadensis, Quercus sp., or Fraxinus americana. (Elias 1987, Kral 1993). See additionally Thompson et al. (1999). Hardy to Zone 3 (chilly hardiness restrict between -39.9°C and -34.4°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Distribution knowledge from USGS (1999). Factors characterize remoted or approximate places.

Massive tree

The official largest specimen is 185 cm dbh (229 inch girth), top 40.2 m (132 toes), in Morrill, Maine (American Forests 2007). Bigger specimens had been recorded traditionally; the Wealthy Mountain pine in Tennessee was 186 cm dbh (230 inches in girth) and 51.2 m (168 toes) tall with a damaged prime when it was logged (Blozan [no date]). The tallest identified residing tree is the “Boogerman Pine” in Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park; it’s 56.54 m tall (Rucker 2003). A tree within the Chattooga River watershed in Georgia is sort of as tall at 56.32 m (Riddle 2016).


The oldest identified log was discovered at Swan Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontaria by R.P. Guyette and B. Cole. This log, specimen SWW51, had 407 crossdated rings (NCDC 2006). This was a subfossil log from the lake; its limiting dates are 1432-1838 (Guyette and Cole 1999). If you would like a stay tree, tree 042072 may nonetheless be residing at Wilmington Notch, New York. When collected in 1982 by Ed Prepare dinner, this pattern had 350 rings (NCDC 2006).



P. strobus was a valued supply of naval shops within the 1700s, and enormous tracts had been as soon as reserved for exploitation by the Royal Navy (Kral 1993). This exploitation started in 1652, and by 1775 the straightforward sources of wooden for masts had been largely logged off (Ponting 1991). (Notice: additionally in 1652, John Hull of Boston established the New England Mint; his largest difficulty was a coin ornamented by a pine tree, absolutely P. strobus (Connor 1994).) The logging continued by way of the 1700s and 1800s for masts, buildings, and furnishings (Elias 1987). Due to intensive lumbering, few uncut stands stay (Kral 1993). As time glided by, the locus of devastation migrated westward, and has left a legacy within the type of historic buildings framed with pine from Maine to Minnesota. An satisfying evaluation of the species’ significance in historic Minnesota might be discovered HERE.

In fashionable instances, it is a crucial horticultural species (Elias 1987). Twice (as of 2017) it has served because the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, the one pine ever chosen for that responsibility.


Some nice old-growth stands are mentioned to stay in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, regardless of intensive historic logging (Thompson et al. 2006). The stand at Cathedral Grove, Minnesota (Anderson et al. 2002) sounds attention-grabbing; researchers there constructed deer exclosures and located that deer and snowshoe hare looking had been just about eliminating seedling recruitment within the stand.


Mast years at Three to five yr intervals present a seed crop essential to wildlife (Elias 1987). White pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), an launched fungal illness, has decimated previously intensive stands of this and sure different white pines (Little 1980).

Jap white pine is the provincial tree of Ontario and the state tree of Maine and Michigan (Kral 1993).

A decline syndrome has lately been recognized by which timber exhibit deformed foliage and produce stress crops of cones shortly earlier than dying. It might be triggered or exacerbated by air air pollution (Hawkes 2001).


American Forest. 2007. Nationwide Register of Massive Timber., accessed 2007.03.30, now defunct.

Anderson, C.E., Ok.A. Chapman, M.A. White, and M.W. Cornett. 2002. Results of looking management on institution and recruitment of jap white pine (Pinus strobus L.) at Cathedral Grove, Lake Superior highlands, Minnesota, USA. Pure Areas Journal 22(3): 202-210.

Blozan, Will. [no date]. Historic images., accessed 2007.08.27, now defunct.

Connor, Sheila. 1994. New England Natives, A Celebration of Individuals and Timber. Cambridge, MA: Harvard College Press, 274 pp. ISBN 0-674-61350-3.

Guyette, R.P. and W.G. Cole. 1999. Age traits of coarse woody particles (Pinus strobus) in a lake littoral zone. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56: 496-505.

Hawkes, Gerry. 2001. Air air pollution & forest loss of life. pollution.htm accessed 2001.02.21, now defunct.

[NCDC 2006] Information accessed on the Nationwide Climatic Information Heart World Information Heart for Paleoclimatology Tree-Ring Information Search web page., accessed 2006.09.08, now defunct.

Ponting, C. 1991. A Inexperienced Historical past of the World. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 432 pp. ISBN 0-312-06989-1.

Riddle, Jess. 2016. Re: Warwoman Highway Replace., accessed 2017.11.04.

Thompson, I.D., J.H. Simard, and R.D. Titman. 2006. Historic modifications in white pine (Pinus strobus L.) density in Algonquin Park, Ontario, through the 19th century. Pure Areas Journal 26(1): 61-71.

See additionally

Elwes and Henry 1906-1913 on the Biodiversity Heritage Library. This sequence of volumes, privately printed, gives a number of the most participating descriptions of conifers ever printed. Though they solely deal with species cultivated within the U.Ok. and Eire, and the taxonomy is a bit dated, nonetheless these accounts are thorough, treating such subjects as species description, vary, varieties, exceptionally previous or tall specimens, exceptional timber, and cultivation. Regardless of being over a century previous, they’re usually correct, and are illustrated with some exceptional images and lithographs.

FEIS database.

Prasad and Iverson 1999.

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