Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

White pine needles photograph; ?? MN DNR, Rick Klevorn
White pine cones photograph;  MN DNR, Rick Klevorn

Form

Height 80' to 100'; up to 42" in diameter; straight trunk and regular pyramidal shape with soft gray-green foliage; clear of branches for many feet when growing in the forest; on young trees, branches extend horizontally in whorls (circle arrangements), marking successive years of upward growth.

Bark

Thin, smooth, and greenish gray on young trees, but thick, deeply furrowed, and grayish brown on older trees.

Leaf

Needle-like, 2-1/2" to 5" long; bluish green on upper surface, whitish beneath; occurs in bundles of five; soft, flexible.

Fruit (seed)

Cones are 4" to 8" long, cylindrical with thin and usually very gummy scales, each containing two small winged seeds; cones mature at end of second season.

Range

Important throughout the northern, central, and eastern parts of the state; also found scattered along the Mississippi River as far south as Houston County; thrives on fertile, well-drained soil; intermediate in shade tolerance. White pine blister rust, white pine weevil, and deer browsing are problems that take a heavy toll on the tree's survival.