The White Pine (Pinus strobus) is a large pine tree that is native to eastern North America. This tree originally covered much of north-central and north-eastern North America however, much of this forest cover was lost due to extensive logging operations. It is a very important tree to these areas being the Provincial tree of Ontario as well as the State Tree of both Maine and Michigan. You will also recognize the classic wind-swept look of the White Pine from many famous Ontario artists paintings including the renowned Group of Seven artists.
Eastern White Pine grows rapidly and is long lived. Mature trees are often 200-250 years old, and some trees have even been documented to live for over 400 years!
Pinus strobus is easily grown in average, medium, and well-drained soils. It prefers full sun, fertile soils, and cool climates. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, but intolerant of many air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide.
Additionally, the White Pine is the “Tree of Peace” of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The tree has its roots in the creation of the League of Five Nations, but its cultural significance continues even to today.
Pinus strobus is cultivated by plant nurseries as an ornamental tree, ideal for planting in gardens and parks. The species are low-maintenance and grow quickly into a specimen tree.
Smaller specimens are popular as live Christmas trees. Eastern White Pines are noted for holding their needles well, even long after being harvested. They are also well suited for people with allergies, as they give little to no aroma.