Whitebark pine

Silhouette - whitebark pine
  • Latin name: Pinus albicaulis Engelm.
  • French name: Pin à blanche écorce
  • Synonym(s): Scrub pine
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 183311
Description

Leaves

  • Needle cross section - whitebark pine
  • Needle bundle - whitebark pine

Form

  • Needles evergreen
  • Remaining on tree 4–8 years
  • In bundles of 5
  • Clustered toward the ends of the twigs
  • Stout, stiff
  • Slightly curved
  • Edges smooth
  • Bundle-sheath scales deciduous during 1st season

Length

  • 4–9 cm

Colour

  • Dark yellowish-green

Buds

  • Terminal bud - whitebark pine

Form

  • Ovoid, pointed
  • Scales loose, overlapping

Length

  • 5–10 mm

Colour

  • Brown to reddish-brown

Twigs

Form

  • Stout, hairy, becoming smooth during 2nd season

Colour

  • Reddish-brown becoming grey during 2nd season

Seed cones (mature)

  • Cone scale outer surface (left), seed and cone scale inner surface with wingless seed (center), cone scale profile (right) - whitebark pine

Form

  • Globular to ovoid
  • Stalkless
  • At right angles to the branch

Length

  • 5–8 cm

Structure

  • 30–50 scales
  • Thick, tough, pointed, without prickles

Timing

  • Cones open only slightly at maturity, then they are shed

Seeds

Form

  • Large, wingless, heavy seed coat

Length

  • About 10 mm

Seedlings

Form

  • 8–10 cotyledons, toothless

Bark

Form

  • Smooth when young
  • With age broken into narrow scaly plates 1 or 2 cm thick

Colour

  • Chalky-white when young, becoming brown with age
  • Inner bark reddish-brown

Wood

Texture

  • Moderately soft, light

Colour

  • Heartwood pale brown
  • Sapwood white

Morphology

  • Sapwood narrow

Size

Height

  • To 20 m

Diameter

  • To 50 cm

Maximum age

  • 500 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - whitebark pine

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Varies according to growing conditions
  • At high elevations near the tree line, a spreading, prostrate shrub, often with a few upright, windblown branches that project above the snow line
  • At lower elevations, a small, upright, multistemmed tree
  • In favourable locations, a single-stemmed tree

Crown

  • Branches upswept

Root system

  • Deep, spreading through the rocky substrate
  • Windfirm

Habitat

Site

  • From 1000 m to the tree line
  • Rocky soils, rock ledges, cliff faces
  • Requires a moist climate
  • Often occurs in widely scattered clumps

Light tolerance

  • Moderately shade-tolerant

Range

Mountains of British Columbia and Alberta

Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
  • Whitebark pine
  • Whitebark pine
  • Whitebark pine
  • Whitebark pine
  • Whitebark pine
  • Whitebark pine
Distribution map
Distribution map - whitebark pine
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