White Pine

Pinus strobus

Family Pinaceae

Notable Features
Leaves: Leaves are needle-like, with 2 to 4 inch (5-10 centimeter) long slender, flexible needles growing in bundles of five. Each bundle has an extremely short remnant of a sheath at the base.
Twigs: Twigs are smooth and dark gray in color.
Bark: Bark is a dark gray, smooth, and very furrowed*. Unlike other pines, the white pine does not have scaly or peeling bark.
Cones: The cones are somewhat large, 3 to 8 inches (7½-20 centimeters), and are attached to branches by long stems. Long and tapered, the cones have many large scales with seeds beneath.
Size/Shape: A large evergreen*, growing up to 110 feet (33 meters). Branches appear in whorls* around the circumference of the tree each growing season.

Location on Campus

(click for map)

This tree is practically everpresent on campus, for is one of the most common ornamentally planted trees. A few are located in front of the Admissions Building, others grow near the entrance to campus and next to Usdan Student Center, and many small trees are poking their way through the undergrowth of Sachar Woods.

The needles of the white pine can be chopped and steeped in hot water to make an excellent tea rich in vitamins A and C. The young needles are best, but the older ones will work just fine. Also, the young shoots with needles removed can be candied by boiling them until tender and soft, then simmering them in a thick, sugary syrup. In emergencies, the young male cones can be boiled like vegetables and eaten, and the inner bark can be ground into a fine powder or meal and used as a flour.

Except where specifically noted, all text, photographs, and drawings copyright Chris Bersbach and Lisa Leombruni 2002. No part of this page may be reproduced without the express permission of the authors.