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Everything You Need to Know About Eastern White Pine

Vans Pines Eastern White Pine

Anti-arborist historians won’t tell you this, but the Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) is at least partially responsible for the Revolutionary War. Once a massively popular timber tree, the Eastern White Pine was prized by shipbuilders for its long, straight trunk used in the production of ship masts. In fact, it was so prized that in colonial times England would claim all the best trees in New England for themselves, which didn’t sit too well with the colonists. This led to the Pine Tree Riot of 1772, considered to be a precursor to the events of the Boston Tea Party a year later. It’s no stretch to say that this tree has a very patriotic background.

While it’s not used as extensively to build ships, the Eastern White Pine is still used in timber production and is a very popular choice for outdoor spaces. Fast-growing and very stately, this species of Pine is the official tree of not one but two states: Michigan and Maine.

Check out this blog as we’ll provide more information about Eastern White Pine, along with the pros and cons of growing it.

Attributes of the Eastern White Pine

Growing to a height of 50-80+ feet, the Eastern White Pine has a 20-40 foot spread and is the only pine known to produce needles in clusters of five. Overall, its needles display a nice blue-green tint. It grows relatively quickly at 24 inches per year and is found all along Eastern North America. 

While it can grow in a wide range of soil conditions, it is most commonly found in moist, fertile sandy loams and does well in humid climates. 
The Eastern White Pine can also claim the prestigious title of “Michigan’s Tallest Tree.” Found in Marquette, this behemoth stands at 155 feet tall — a full 12 feet taller than the runner up.

Pros and Cons of Growing Eastern White Pine

A very hardy species, Eastern White Pines can grow in a wide range of climates and soils. From dry rocky ridges to moist lowlands, this tree will thrive pretty much anywhere you plant it. It also has several uses, ranging from timber production, to windbreaks, to Christmas trees, and more.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, straight-grained wood
  • Grows quickly in a variety of climates
  • Transplants easily and works great for windbreaks
  • Historical — played a part in America’s independence

Cons:

  • High flammability rating makes it a poor choice for indoor decor
  • Susceptible to white pine blister rust 
  • Common pests include white pine weevils, bark beetles, and shoot borer
  • Height makes it susceptible to wind damage

Consider Growing Eastern White Pine

There’s a lot to like about the Eastern White Pine — from its desirable attributes to its stately appearance to its history, it’s easy to see why it’s a popular choice for landscapers, businesses, and homes all across Michigan. 

If you’d like to grow Eastern White Pine in your business, check out our eCommerce store or send us an email at info@vanspinesnursery.com. If you have any questions or would like to receive more information, just give us a call at (800)888-7337.

Click here to see more species of Pine trees, both native and non-native to Michigan!