The eastern white pine is a tree for landscapes with ample space. Its fine feathery needles, open canopy, and straight trunk get more picturesque with age. Trees are fast-growing and long-lived.
- Chicago area
- North America
- Residential and parks
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 3
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Acid soil
- Moderately Tolerant
- Moderately Tolerant
- Intolerant of pollution
- Evergreen (foliage year-round)
- Edible fruit
- Early winter
- Mid winter
- Late winter
- Late spring
- Game birds
- Small mammals
Size & Form
A 50 to 80 feet high and wide evergreen with a uniform conical shape when young becoming more open and loose with age.
Fine textures needles and fast growing.
Tree & Plant Care
Prefers moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil in sun, although young trees tolerate light shade.
Avoid planting in open, windy sites.
Very cold tolerant.
Disease, pests, and problems
Susceptible to chlorosis symptoms in high pH soils.
Sensitive to salt and air pollution.
Intolerant of wet soils.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Eastern U.S., Newfoundland to Georgia
Attracts birds & butterflies
Cones attracts birds such as the siskin, nuthatch, crossbill, jay, finch, and woodpecker.
Bark color and texture
Mature bark is dark grayish-brown with broad ridges and deep furrows.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, texture, and color
Needles arranged in clusters with 5 needles; densely crowded near the ends of horizontal branches.
Thin, soft, 3 to 6 inches long, medium green. Needles remain on the tree for two to three years before dropping in the fall.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Male pollen cones are in whorled clusters at the tips of branches. Female flowers are yellow and in pairs near male flower cones.
photo: John HagstromFruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Long and slender, up tp 8 inches, cylindrical brown cones with obvious white resin tips.
Cones remain on the tree for 2 years
Cultivars and their differences
Upright eastern white pine (Pinus strobus ‘Fastigiata’ ): This narrow, upright cultivar grows 30-50 feet tall and 10-20 feet wide.
Dwarf eastern white pine (Pinus strobus 'Nana' ): A compact or dwarf cultivar, 3-5 feet wide and tall.
Weeping eastern white pine (Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’ ): Typically 15 to 20 feet high and 12 to 15 foot wide. Blue green needles cascade from twisting, weeping branches. This weeping form may require some training to produce a leader that will affect the ultimate height and spread of the plant.