Canada’s Arboreal Emblems:
Ontario — Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)
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This largest northeastern conifer normally grows to 30 m tall and 100 cm in diameter with a 12 m crown spread. It is recognized by its broadly conical crown and stacked whorls of dark foliaged branches that curve up at their ends. Needles are 5-15 cm long, straight, slender, flexible, and dark blue-green in bundles of five. Cones are 8-20 cm long, narrowly conic, slightly curved, yellowish-green to light brown, and pendulous on a short stock. Bark is dark green and smooth when young; it is soon deeply furrowed, turns dark brown to black and can get up to 2-5 cm thick when older. Eastern white pine is a handsome ornamental specimen valuable for parks, estates, and large properties. It is extremely intolerant of road salt and compaction.
Of the pines, Eastern white is the softest and lightest, with white sapwood and straw brown to light red brown heartwood that weathers to light gray. Straight grained, uniform textured and homogeneous, it works easily with hand and machine tools and accepts fasteners, glue, and paint well. It is used extensively for windows, sashes, frames, doors, cabinetry, interior trims of boats, caskets, toys, carvings, and other woodenware.
White pine ranges from western Ontario to the Atlantic provinces and throughout most of north central and the northeastern US.
Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)