White Pine

(Pinus strobus)

White pine trees are the tallest trees in eastern North America. They can grow over 160 feet tall and can live to be 400 years old. They can be identified by their needles, which are about 3 to 5 inches long and grow in bunches of 5. Their cones are slender, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and about 4-6 inches long.

During colonial times, white pines were used by the British for the masts of their ships. The oldest, largest ones were marked as the "king's trees" with an arrow shaped blaze. Colonists were forbidden to cut them down for their own use.

The three masts of the USS Constitution, a ship you can see in nearby Charlestown, were originally made from three single pine trees.

Pine cones

White Pine needles grow in bundles of 5

Pine cone partially eaten by a squirrel

Discarded pine cone scales after a squirrel ate the seeds

White pine in winter

Pinecones in the snow

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