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Eastern White Pine

Eastern White Pine Tree
Forests of eastern white pine once covered much of New England and the Mid-Atlantic region, including the area that is now New York City. Because the eastern white pine grows tall and straight, it was traditionally used for ship masts. Almost all parts of the white pine, including needles, bark, resin, and wood, were used by Native Americans – and continue to be used today in a multitude of ways. While white pines were not noted to have been present at the time of Central Park’s construction, they were amongst the first conifers planted for the new Park. There are over 400 mature white pines currently in Central Park.

Common Name: Eastern White Pine

Scientific Name: Pinus strobus

Origin: New England, from Newfoundland to Georgia and west to Iowa

Family: Pinaceae

Size: 50 - 80' tall, 30 - 50' wide

Form: Conical when young, loses defined shape with age, many lateral branches create moderately dense canopy

Culture: Easily transplanted and grown; prefers moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil; thrives in sun although young trees tolerate light shade; cold tolerant


4" needles, five needles per bundle, saw-like edge, two stomatal lines (pores for gas exchange) on underside


Monoecious (male and female organs), not ornamentally important


6 - 8" long, light brown cones


Gray to gray-green, smooth when young, furrowed to scaly when old