Pinus strobus L.

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Common names:
white pine, eastern white pine
Synonyms:
Strobus strobus (L.) Small
Description:
Growth form:
Tree,
Size:
22 - 30 m tall, sometimes much larger, trunk diameter to 1 m or more.
Form
pyramidal to broadly oval-shaped with wide-spreading, horizontal branches.
Bark
greenish, thin, and smooth on young trees, becoming brownish gray, thick, and fissured into rectangular plates.
Twigs
slender, orangish brown, slightly hairy, becoming light brown and hairless with age.
Buds
yellowish brown, 0.4 - 1 cm long, egg-shaped to cylindrical, and pointed.
Needles
in clusters of five, pale bluish green, 7 - 12 cm long, sharp-pointed, three-sided with finely toothed edges, straight, thin and flexible. The sheath at the base of each needle cluster is deciduous.
Pollen cones
yellow, about 8 mm long, egg-shaped, and clustered at the base of new shoots in the mid-crown.
Young seed cones
pinkish purple, 0.6 - 1 cm long, cylindrical, at the tips of new shoots in the upper crown. Pollination between cones occurs in June.
Mature seed cones
woody, short-stalked, hanging downward, pale brown with a purple or grayish tint, 10 - 25 cm long, and cylindrical. Scales flexible and lacking prickles. Seeds reddish brown, 5 - 8 mm long, narrow-cylindrical, with a wing nearing 2 cm long.
Help:
Plant Glossary
Similar species:
Having soft, five-clustered needles is what distinguishes Pinus strobus from all other Pinus species in the Chicago Region, which have either two or three needles per cluster.
Habitat and ecology:
Highly variable, from mesic to dry sites, including bogs, moist woods, wooded slopes, and dunes.
Regional occurrence:
native
Notes:
Pinus strobus is one of the most generally useful of all American woods. At one time it was the most valuable tree of the Northeast, often used in shipbuilding. Today the wood is used for doors, cabinets, interior finish, lumber, pulp, boxes, matches, and carving. It is planted as an ornamental, but restricted in commercial planting due to the white pine blister rust fungus (Cronartium ribicola) and the white pine weevil (Pissoides strobi).
Etymology:
Pinus is the Latin word for pine. Strobus is the Latin word for pinecone.
vPlants
name code: PIST ; page author: The Morton Arboretum ; page date: 2006-12-03
Further information (external links):
Google: Text Search Image Search
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References:
Barnes, B. V., and W. H. Wagner, Jr. 2004. Michigan trees: A guide to the trees of the Great Lakes region. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Elias, T. S. 1980. The complete trees of North America. New York: Times Mirror Magazines, Inc.
Kral, Robert. 1993. Pinus. In Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms. Vol. 2 of Flora of North America north of Mexico. ed. Flora of North America Editorial Committee, 373-398. New York: Oxford University Press.
Mohlenbrock, R. H. 1996. Forest trees of Illinois. 8th ed. Illinois: Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forest Resources.

Specimens by county

Pinus strobus

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Information provided on this page applies to the Chicago Region and may not be relevant or complete for other regions.

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