The White Pine (Pinus strobus) grows mostly in the north-eastern part of the United States. Mature trees usually have no branches at the bottom and can become 200–250 years old. The Eastern white pine is the only 5-needled pine native to eastern North America. Needles are long. Twigs are green and hairy but become hairless and orange-brown during the second growing season. Bark on young trucks is pale gray-green, thin, and smooth. Bark on mature trunks is dark gray, often tinged with purple, that is broken into broad scaly ridges, separated by furrows (vertical grooves separated by ridges). Eastern white pines are coniferous (or conifers, produce cones). Mature cones are slender with relatively long stalk and thin scales often dotted with sap. The tree is one of the most important lumber trees in the East. When the English colonized north America, they marked the tall white pine trees as exclusive property of the King of England to be used for mast and spar building on ships. Anyone who cut down a king’s tree was subject to the death penalty. The park counts over 20 white pine trees. Some cluster on the edge of the park close to the Guernsey Hall. Others can be found near the picnic tables. This tree is vulnerable to strong wind and rain resulting in branch or trunk fracture. The genus name comes from the Latin for pines. The specific epithet is Greek and refers to incense bearing or gum bearing tree.
Common name: White Pine, Weymouth Pine, Northern White Pine, Eastern White Pine, Pumpkin Pine
Scientific Name (family and order): Pinus strobus L. (Pinaceae, Pinales)
Species Origin: North America
New Jersey Status: USDA Native
Habit: 80 – 164’ tall x 20 – 40’; Bole 2 – 5’ diameter. Impressively-large evergreen tree with broad crown of distinct tiers of few, widely-spaced branches.
Habitat: Zones 3 – 7.
Trunk/Stem: Bark dark gray and smooth becoming deeply fissured. Develops a towering, massive truk , buttressed at base.
Leaves: Evergreen. Clusters of 5 needles; Leaves soft, fine, flexible on nearly smooth olive-brown shoots. 4 3/4” long.
Flowers: Monoecious. On separate shoots male flowers bright yellow; female pink; bloom in early summer.
Fruits and seeds: Young cones occur in clusters. Cone marked by white resin, curved, slender, hanging. Its long narrow cone is distinctive.Cone scales are thinner than other pines and they lack prickles.