Document Type

Forests & Forestry

Publication Date



White pine has flexible, blue-green needles that are grouped in fascicles of five. Each year, branches originate from the terminal growing tip (whorled pattern) giving the tree a distinctive appearance of layers of branches. The distance between successive whorls represents one year of growth. In forested settings, white pine grows rapidly on good sites, exceeding 100 feet in height and averaging 2 to 3 feet in diameter. The trunk is usually straight with a pyramidal crown. White pine is capable of attaining ages of 200 years.

White pine was extensively used in construction when old-growth white pine forests were abundant. Today, the use of white pine as construction lumber is rare. It is now chiefly a specialty wood in the furniture industry. Siding and decorative trim, knotty pine paneling, cabinets and other interior wood products are its more common uses. The ease of finishing and repairing makes white pine wood useful for furniture stock. Young white pines are also used in the manufacture of log homes. The ability of white pine to adapt to a wide range of sites and its rapid growth rate makes young trees desirable as Christmas trees or as ornamental landscape trees. The increasing use of white pine for pallets, pulp and chips for engineered wood panels encourages harvesting of smaller, lower-quality trees.

White pine has several characteristics that make it a good tree crop on marginal land, especially in the South. It requires a relatively small amount of labor and management, it is ideal for coarse sandy soils, it has few natural enemies and it is one of the fastest growing trees in the United States. Essentially, you can plant the trees, and after the plantation is established, watch them grow.

Publication Number

PB1462-1M-9/00(Rev) E12-4915-00-008-01

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