Eastern White Pine - Pinus Strobus
The Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) is a native tree to Wisconsin and can be found growing statewide. It is a large tree, typically growing to be 50-100 feet tall and diameters up to 42", with a straight trunk and a pyramidal shape. The bark is thin and gray on young trees, becoming thicker and darker with age. The needles are soft and gray-green, and they grow in bundles of five. The cones are long and slender, and they mature in two years.
Eastern White Pine trees prefer sandy, well-drained soils, but they can also tolerate other soil types. They are tolerant of shade when young, but they need full sun to reach their full potential. Eastern White Pine trees are susceptible to air pollution, so they are not recommended for planting in areas with high levels of pollution.
Eastern White Pine trees are an important part of the Wisconsin ecosystem. They provide food and shelter for wildlife, and they help to prevent soil erosion. They are also a popular choice for landscaping, and they can be found in many parks and gardens throughout the state.
In the 19th century, the harvesting of white pine forests played a major role in America's westward expansion. A quarter-million white pines were harvested and sent to lumber yards in Chicago in a single year. Old-growth pine was a highly desired wood since huge, knot-free boards were the rule rather than the exception. Pine was common and easy to cut, thus many colonial homes used pine for paneling, floors, and furniture.