Tree of the Month: Eastern White Pine

When winter sets in, there are a few trees that remain bright and green and gather the snow, brightening our dull days. Eastern White Pine is one of them, a magnificent evergreen tree and the largest conifer in eastern Canada. Everybody knows this distinctive tree, an old favorite that can live up to 400 years!

The White pine is the Provincial tree of Ontario, and was often featured in Group of Seven paintings.

Eastern White Pine is important to wildlife for protection from predators, food and shelter. Beaver, hares, rabbits, porcupines, squirrels, mice, deer and several species of birds feed on white pine seeds, bark and needles. White pine stands also provide shelter for moose, bear, grouse, woodcock, songbirds, birds of prey and small mammals.

Eastern White Pine is distinctive because it is so tall, growing up to 30 metres (90 feet) locally and 60 metres (180 feet) in other regions, has horizontal branches and pyramid shaped crowns. The light brown cones are 15-20 cm long. Its bluish-green evergreen needles are in clusters of 5, soft, flexible and 6 – 12 cm long.

Want to plant one?

Great for large backyards, Eastern White Pine is hardy and can tolerate sun and shade, and likes fertile, moist, well-drained soils. It will attract birds and mammals to your yard and look beautiful all year long.

Image Sources

Hunter, Baye. Canadian Tree Tours, “Eastern White Pine”

Lacey, Brian. University of Guelph, The Aboretum, “Eastern White Pine”