Tree Tuesday: Eastern White Pine

The Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), is a rapid-growing, long-lived, needled evergreen tree that is native to the northeastern United States and Canada.  It is able to grow for 200 years or more and can become 150 ft high and over three feet in diameter.

White pine has thin needles growing in clusters of five.  The cluster of 5 needles is an easy way to identify the white time and easiest way to remember is the word, W-H-I-T-E, has 5 letters. White pines will ooze sap when damaged and have  large, long cones.

Its size and straight trunk have made it an important source of lumber for building.  Eastern white pine needles exceed the amount of vitamin C of lemons and oranges and make an excellent herbal tea. The cambium is edible and is a source of resveratrol.

Henry David Thoreau revered the aesthetic of the white pine saying,

There is no finer tree.

The name, ‘Adirondack’ has been alleged to be a Mohawk word which means ‘bark-eater.’  The Mohawks supposedly referred to their neighbors, the Algonquians, as Adirondacks.  The Algonquian were said to have collected the inner bark of white pines and other trees to stave off winter starvation.

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