Eastern White Pine

Pinus strobus
Pinaceae (pines)

A large tree with a pyramidal crown when young, becoming flattened or broadly rounded with age.

Leaves needles, 3-5 inches long, in bundles of 5; slender, straight, soft, flexible, blue-green, undersurface of needles lined with white pores.

Bark green or gray, thin, smooth on young trees; becoming thick, brown to black, deeply grooved, with broad, scaly ridges.

Twigs slender, flexible, green becoming brown with age.

Conifers do not technically "flower," but pollen is shed March–May.

Fruits September–October, maturing the second year, persisting on the branches. Cones woody, in clusters of 1–5, hanging, slightly curved, cylindrical, 4–8 inches long, green turning light brown; scales numerous, thin, not spine-tipped, often with sticky resin.

Height: to 100 feet; spread to 65 feet.
Habitat and conservation: 
White pine has been introduced to our state in plantations for lumber, as an ornamental and for windbreaks and erosion control. It reproduces locally in and around the areas where it has been planted. Eastern white pine is the tallest tree in the eastern United States. It has a straight trunk and horizontal branches. One row of branches is added each year, which gives the tree an attractive conical shape.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Can be found statewide in and near landscaping plantings. In Missouri, this species prefers moist, sandy loam soils.
Eastern white pine is not native to our state. It is native to eastern North America, in a range extending from Georgia north to Newfoundland, west to Manitoba, and south to Iowa; it is also native to some parts of Mexico and Guatemala. It has been widely introduced elsewhere, for it is one of the most popular lumber trees in the world.
Human connections: 
This species was crucial in our nation’s history. The tall straight trunks were prized for ship masts in colonial days, and a protracted battle with the English Crown over the use and ownership of America's stands of large white pines contributed to the uprising of the American Revolution.
Ecosystem connections: 
Although Americans used it to (quite literally) build America, destroying nearly all the virgin forests and ancient trees in the process, eastern white pine has always provided homes to birds and small mammals, many of which eat the seeds as well as dwell in its boles and boughs.
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