How Many Types of White Pines Do You Know From These?

Types of white pine
By one count, the Pinus genus comprises 114 species, which are too many to keep track of. As a result, taxonomists have split the pines into two subgenera.


Hard pines are the name given to one of the subgenus of Pinus. The soft pines, sometimes known as white pines, belong to the Strobus subgenus. Western white pine, whitebark pine, limber pine and sugar pine are among the types of white pines of the Northwest.


White pines are also referred to as five-needle pines because their needles grow in bundles of five. It’s important to remember this since it’s how you can tell them apart from other native pines, which have two or three needles.


White pine has a somewhat soft wood. Although much of North America’s white pine woods have been chopped down, white pine has been utilized for building. The poles of sailing ships used to be made of eastern white pine.


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Indeed, the British traveled around identifying appropriate white pines for the King’s exclusive use. White pine varieties with no markings were used for a variety of purposes, including house construction.


White pine is a good choice for window panes and other finish materials because of its light colour and mild suppleness. It’s simple to cut, grind, or sand, and it holds its shape well. It looks great whether painted or stained.


Kinds Of White Pines

Different types of white pine trees can be found existing in different climatic regions in nature. Here is a little description about the different types:


Eastern White Pine

Pinus strobus, sometimes known as the soft pine or eastern white pine, is a big pine endemic to eastern North America. It has coniferous needle-like leaves in bundles of five, or sometimes three or four, with a woody case, like other members of the white pine group.


It has flexible, bluish-green, coarsely serrated leaves about 5–13 cm (2–5 in) in length.

It is amongst the tallest white pine species in Northeastern America. It is said to have grown up to 70 meters tall in natural pre-colonial stands.


Western White Pine

The western white pine often known as silver pine or Californian mountain pine, taxonomically named as Pinus monticola, belongs to the Pinaceae family of pines. It may be found in northwestern North American mountain ranges.


Western white pine is a huge tree that may reach heights of 30–50 meters and even 70 meters. The branches form uniform whorls and are generated at a pace of one per year.


It has been one of the most useful among other types of white pine. Native Americans are said to have chewed its gum to alleviate coughs. White pine was also used to build houses and produce matches in the early twentieth century.


Japanese White Pine

When young, Pinus parviflora glauca is a tiny evergreen coniferous tree with a dense conical habit, but it matures into a wide spreading, 15-25 meters, irregularly shaped tree with a broad flattened canopy.


The foliage is made up of stiff, curving silver blue needles that grow in tufts at the ends of the branches, adding to the beauty of this lovely tree. The profuse brownish red cones open when mature and can last up to 6 years, adding to the visual appeal.


This variety of Japanese white pines grows up to 12 inches each year, making it a great specimen tree and a stunning aesthetic feature wherever it is placed. In Asian gardens, it is one of the most popular white pine varieties used as a bonsai plant.


White Scotch Pine

Pinus sylvestris, sometimes known as Scotch pine, is an evergreen white pine species native to Eurasia that may reach a height of 35 meters when fully grown. The mature tree’s habit is characterized by a tall, naked, and straight trunk that is capped with a rounded or flat pile of leaves.


The average lifetime is 150–300 years. The light brown shoots have a spirally structured scale-like design on them. The leaves of mature trees are a glaucous blue-green in color, with deeper green to deep yellow in the winter.


Pulp and sawn timber products are made from wood. In the pre-industrial era, pine was used to make tar and as a source of rosin and turpentine.

White Bark Pine

The whitebark pine is a tree that grows in subalpine high elevation mountains in the northwest United States and southwestern Canada, where it marks the tree line.


Watersheds are protected, snowmelt flow is regulated, and the roots of this species stabilize stony and poorly formed soils, reducing soil erosion. Because of these characteristics, whitebark pine in these types of white pine is regarded as the ecosystem maintaining species in these high-altitude habitats.


These white pine varieties are a part of the ‘bird pines’ group of pines, which contain wingless seeds that rely on animal dissemination rather than wind. This species’ huge nutlike seeds are abundant in fat and protein, making them a valuable food source for many other birds and animals.

Sugar Pine

Pinus lambertiana, popularly known as the sugar cone pine, is the world’s tallest pine species, reaching heights of up to 80 meters and an average of 40 to 60 meters.


Sugar pines also have the largest cones of any Pinaceae family member. The delicious resin in the tree gives this pine species its popular name. Sugar pine needles are long, light green, and have white lines along the length of them.


The bark is reddish-brown with noticeable furrows when seen up close. Slender pine needles are found in bundles of five just like any other white pine varieties, and can reach a length of 14 cm. The tall dark brown woody cones can reach a length of 50 cm.

Limber Pine

Limber pine is a moderate-sized evergreen endemic to the Rocky Mountains, found from Canada to New Mexico at altitudes ranging from 5,000 to 12,000 feet, frequently reaching the tree line.


It grows small and shrubby near tree lines on exposed high elevations, while bad soil and lack of water hinder it on the high plains. The branches of this white pine species are extremely flexible, allowing it to bear large snow and wind loads without breaking.


These types of white pine have delicate, blue-green needles that grow up to 3.5″ long and come in bundles of five, demonstrating its white pine kinship. Its unique light brown cones are 6-8″ long, thick-scaled, and resinous

Vietnamese White Pine

Pinus dalatensis is an intermediate evergreen tree that can reach a height of 30 to 40 metres. It is a part of the white pine family, Pinus subgenus Strobus, and its leaves are in fascicles of five with a deciduous sheath, as are all members of that group.


The needles are 5–14 cm long and finely serrated. The majority of the branching is horizontal, with scant leaves concentrated at the terminals. Twigs have a waxy covering and are reddish brown in colour.


They are one of the very few white pine varieties which range from hairless to thickly hairy.

Light grey bark flakes in reddish brown scales and becomes shallowly wrinkled between tiny blocks. The bark of young trees is resinous and longitudinally fissured.


How Do You Identify A White Pine Tree?

The seed-bearing cones, needle-like leaves and reddish-brown or grey bark of pine trees help to identify white pines. Some of the white pine species are also known for their long egg-shaped cones that dangle from their branches.


Large woody cones with long and straight scales can be seen on certain pines. These cones open and then fall off, releasing seed or pollen. The way pine trees’ needles and cones develop is one method to tell them distinct from fir trees. Fir needles are softer and are connected singly to the branch, whereas pine needles grow in groups on the twigs. Fir tree cones grow straight up from the branches, whereas pine cones hang down.


Are White Pines Fast Growing?

When compared to other pine and hardwood species in its natural region, the white pine varieties have a stunning rate of growth. White pines have been reported to grow 4 ½ feet per year when they are 8 – 20 years old. On maturity they reach a height of 40 feet.


After reaching maturity, white pine still seems to be a fast-growing evergreen pine with needles that are 3-6 inches long and organized in bundles of five on the stem, with a growth rate of 2-3 feet per year or more. The pine “sheds” all its leaves that grew out the preceding year around September and October.


How Tall And Wide Do White Pine Trees Grow?

The White Pine is an evergreen that grows quickly (2-3 feet per year or more) and has needles that are 3-6 inches long and grouped in five bundles on the stem. This pine “sheds” all of its leaves that grew out the previous year, around September and October.


Certain types of white pine may reach a height of 80 feet and a width of 25 feet or more. Its broad spreading root system is exceptionally wind resistant, but its branches are fragile and susceptible to damage from snow, ice, and windstorms.


In good soil, with proper rainfall and comprehensive weed and grass control, a 2 ft tall potted White Pine tree may grow to be over 12 ft tall in 5 years.

Related: Types of Pine Bushes


Q. Are white pine needles toxic to pets?

A. Needles of certain white pine varieties can cause problems if consumed. The needles and oils might irritate your dog’s mucosal membranes Some varieties can harm your pet and make them very miserable and sick.

What are the benefits of white pine?

A. Laryngitis, bronchitis, chest congestion, cough, and other respiratory tract illnesses have all been treated with different types of white pine trees for centuries.


It’s loaded with powerful polyphenols that can help heal damaged skin, reduce wrinkles, and boost collagen and skin elasticity for you to look younger.  Vitamin C not only helps to maintain immunity, but it also aids in tissue repair, scurvy prevention, and appropriate nervous system function.


Wounds, sores, burns, boils, bug bites, and septic diseases heal faster with heated white pine resin. The tea made from some white pine species’ needles is used as a decongestant to help clear phlegm and cure cough and chest discomfort.

Colds, influenza (flu), sore throats, respiratory problems, and renal ailments can all benefit from it. The soaked inner bark of white pine is used as a treatment on the chest to alleviate the symptoms of a severe cold. White pine timber was once used by Americans and the British to construct ships.

Q.Are white pine needles edible?

A. The leaves are edible and are frequently used to create hot tea. The needles’ nutritional and therapeutic characteristics are best kept by steeping them in hot water rather than boiling them; you may steep them for 15 minutes.


The tea is harsh, resinous, and somewhat sweet, with a surprise pleasant flavor. The inner bark of the Eastern White Pine is edible, and as revolting as it may seem, a number of Native American tribes ate it during the winter to avoid famine.


Some types of white pine have nuts large enough to consume within their adult cones. The nuts of the Eastern White Pine are quite little, and while they can be eaten, they are typically too difficult to obtain.

What is the difference between eastern white pine and western white pine varieties?

A. Eastern White Pine is a low-maintenance ornamental tree that is ideal for big homes and parks. Long, flexible blue-green needles distinguish this fast-growing, long-lived pine.


The Western White Pine species is a valuable wood species. This evergreen is almost similar to the Eastern White Pine, except for the stiffer needles, thicker growth and bigger cones.



With this we come to an end of the article where we learned thoroughly about different types of white pine trees, their uses, distribution and growth patterns. We hope that the information provided in this article proves to be of immense help.