White pine planting and care

photograph of White Pine fromWhite pines. Just mentioning the name evokes strong feelings in people who love or know nature and the outdoors. White pines, especially those that have held their ground for hundreds of years, have been and continue to be the reigning monarchs of Minnesota's forests.

Beyond their size and beauty, white pines also fill important ecological roles. They grow across the range of forest conditions, finding the northeastern half of Minnesota much to their liking. Though white pines did not blanket the Minnesota territories when European settlement began, they dotted the landscape, occurring in small groves with red pine or as individual, dominating trees.

It was the white pine that brought loggers to this area in the late 1880s and provided the lumber that built the homes of our great-grandparents. Over the next 100 years, the number of white pines decreased by 75 percent.

While logging effects have declined, more people, more deer, and a new white pine disease continue to put pressure on white pine populations. Now, through the efforts of resource management agencies and people like you, the decline has leveled off. And new efforts are underway to bring back white pine in greater numbers.

Many people are passionate about this tree and would like to see it restored to some measure of their former glory. With your help, we, and those that come after, will see white pine numbers increase and help ensure their place as the monarch of the forest.

White pines usually need protection from deer, disease, insects, and competing weeds and shrubs. Please read this guide carefully and save it for future reference. For more information on planting or caring for white pines or related topics, contact the DNR Information Center.

White pine is not a tree that can be stuck in the ground and forgotten!