Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Pinus strobus L.
PINACEAE (Pine Family)
EtymologyPinus is the ancient Latin word for pine; strobus is from the Latin for gum-yielding, after a tree from Carmania with smelly resin.
Synonyms (Common Name)Eastern White Pine
DescriptionOne of the most abundant conifers in New England, White Pine is a valuable timber tree. In colonial times, old-growth trees attained heights over 200 feet; oday's trees are typically half that size. White Pine is an evergreen tree that grows primarily in sandy upland soils, but can be found in many different habitats including forested wetlands, fens, and bogs.
Wetland indicator statusFACU
Plant Height80-110 feet
LeavesEvergreen, long (3-5"), thin needles in bundles of five; flexible, dark green; turn brown and fall off after third season. White Pines growing in bogs and poor fens tend to have yellow-green needles due to lack of nutrients.
FruitCone long (4-7"), tapering, cylindrical, on long stalk; brown.
Fruiting PeriodMay-June; cones take 2 years to mature, ripening in the autumn of the second season.
HabitatWooded uplands in sandy, well drained soils; can grow in a wide range of environments including swamps, bogs and fens.
RangeNewfoundland to Manitoba; south to Delaware, Kentucky, and Iowa.
Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)
Larch (Larix laricina)
Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
Gray Birch (Betula populifolia)
Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis)
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
Oaks(Quercus spp.)
Swamp Azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)
Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)
Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
Similar Species
Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida) has three needles per bundle; Red Pine (P. resinosa) has two [rarely three]. Both have shorter, stouter cones than white pine.
Seasonal Diagnostics
Spring: Green, immature cones appear in May and June and stay green all summer.
Fall: Mature cones turn brown and open to release seeds.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett