Where to plant white pine
White pine occurs and grows well on a wide range of soil types and textures. White pine is more tolerant of wetter conditions than red or jack pine, but less tolerant of dry conditions. Best growth occurs on sites with medium to fine soil texture, medium to high soil fertility, and a soil layer that is moist most of the time and deeper than 18 inches.
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 easily tolerate growing under a canopy of other trees. White pines survive best and have better form when grown under taller trees because they are less susceptible to attack from white pine weevil and blister rust infection. However, if white pines are planted under a thick stand that allows very little light to reach the ground, they may grow very slowly or die. As a general rule, plant in areas that are 40 to 60 percent shaded from high shade (shade from low shrubs is not beneficial). Aspen, birch, and oak provide good canopies for young white pine, especially if the canopy trees are old and starting to die. White pines grow well under a thin canopy of larger trees.
White pine will grow fastest in the open. However, they are more susceptible to insect and disease problems and will require extra care. Planting white pine in the open is more acceptable in south- ern Minnesota because conditions are generally less favorable to pest problems.
Plant white pine on slopes, hilltops, or shoulders of hills. Avoid potholes, bases of slopes, v-shaped valleys, or small openings in dense forest that favor the collection of cool, moist air. Such conditions encourage the spread of white pine blister rust in both northern and southern Minnesota.