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Posts Tagged ‘Pinus strobus’

Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) won’t ever make the short list of plants grown for fall color, but this native species is pretty this time of year nonetheless. The two- and three-year-old needles are now turning yellow and dropping, so don’t worry if your trees have lots of yellow needles. This feature is widely ignored in descriptions of the species, which simply list the plants as evergreen, but the patterns the yellow and green needles create really are quite pretty. So, as long as the needles on the tips of the branches on your white pines are still green, they are healthy and right on schedule.

White-Pine

Above: Yellow and green needles on Eastern white pine make a pretty, if subtle, pattern.

White pines are valuable, long-lived evergreens. This species once covered much of the northeast, and 200- to 220-foot-tall trees were common. Logging from the 18th to early 20th century claimed all but about one percent of virgin stands. Today in cultivation, mature white pines typically reach 75 to 100 feet and spread to 75 feet. Virgin stands still exist in Great Smokey National Park and a few other locations—they are worth visiting! (See “Range” at this link for a list!) Although white pines are happiest in moist, well-drained soil, they tolerate dry to average conditions, sand or heavy clay, pH that runs from 4 to 6.5, and part shade to full sun.

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