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White pine

White pine needles

White pine

White pine tree description TreeNA

About the white pine tree

Eastern white pine - Pinus strobus

Identification: White pines can be identified by their clusters of long, soft, blue-green needles that grow in bundles of five. This differentiates them from red and jack pines, whose needles grow in bundles of two. The trees have red-brown bark that forms scaly plates. They produce elongated 3-8-inch cones containing small, winged seeds.

Height: 50-100 feet 

Preferences: Full sun to partial shade. Hardiness zones 3-8.  

Wildlife value: White pine seeds and shoots are eaten by birds and small mammals. The inner bark is eaten by hares, porcupines and beavers. White pines provide shelter and nesting sites for birds like woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and mourning doves.

Uses: The wood of the white pine is valuable because it is soft and easy to work with, does not warp easily, and has less resin and knots than other conifers. White pine was the backbone of the Michigan lumber industry during the late 19th century when Michigan led the nation in lumber production. Today, white pine is used to make doors, moldings, cabinets and furniture. It is also commonly grown for Christmas trees.

Michigan's state tree

The beautiful, towering eastern white pine is a fitting pick for Michigan's state tree.

The white pine was made Michigan's official tree by Public Act 7 on March 4, 1955, commemorating the tree's importance to our state's history.

At one point, Michigan was the leading timber producer in the nation due to its vast stands of this native tree. 

A white pine spray and cone with the Michigan capitol in the background