pine grows naturally through the mountains, extending into the
adjacent Piedmont region. It grows on high, dry, sandy and rocky
ridges but does better on cool, moist, sandy loam soils. White
pine reaches its best form in the Johns River area of Burke
Eastern white pine needles are soft bluish-green, flexible and
3 to 5 inches long. They grow in bundles of five and have 3
to 5 white lines (stomata) on two surfaces of each needle. Needles
remain on the tree for two years.
Cones are fully grown in the summer of the second season, opening
to discharge seeds during July and August.
Cones are 4 to 8 inches long, curved and stalked, with non-spiny
The bark on young trunks and branches is thin, smooth, greenish
and shiny. On old trunks, the bark is dark gray and is shallow-fissured,
with broad and flat-topped longitudinal ridges.
The tree commonly reaches 100 feet in height and four feet in
diameter. It has a tall, straight stem and a pyramidal crown.
Branches are in definite annual whorls, sweeping upward in graceful
curves. Each whorl represents one year's growth.
Eastern white pine is the largest conifer of eastern North America.
It is long-lived and has been known to reach heights over 200
feet. Its wood is light, straight-grained and easily worked
but is not strong. It is used in cabinetmaking, furniture, interior
finishes, woodenware, matches and lumber. A large part of the
winter diet of red squirrels (Boomers) in the southern Appalachians
consists of the seed of eastern white pine.