White pine grows well on a wide range of soil. Avoid the extremes of heavy, continually wet soils and gravelly, drought-prone soils when selecting planting areas.
Unlike red or jack pine, white pine can tolerate growing under a thin canopy of trees that provides 40 to 50 percent shade (shade from low shrubs in not beneficial). Growing white pine under a canopy is one way to avoid problems with white pine weevil and blister rust. Aspen, birch, and oak provide good canopies for young white pine, especially if the canopy trees are old and starting to die. Too much shade will cause white pines to grow slow or die.
White pine will grow fastest in the open. However, they are more susceptible to insect and disease problems and will require extra care. Planting at relatively high densities in the open will minimize weevil and blister rust problems. A 7 x 8 foot spacing is the minimum planting density recommended for white pine, but a 6 x 6 foot spacing is better.
Plant white pine on slopes, hilltops, or shoulders of hills. Avoid potholes, depressions, bases of slopes, v-shaped valleys, or small openings (width is less than the height of surrounding trees). Ridge tops adjacent to water bodies or swamps can be problematic. All of these locations encourage the spread of white pine blister rust in both northern and southern Minnesota