Western white pine

Silhouette - western white pine
  • Latin name: Pinus monticola Dougl. Ex D. Don
  • French name: Pin argenté
  • Synonym(s): Silver pine , mountain white pine , Idaho white pine
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 183356
Description

Leaves

  • Needle cross section - western white pine
  • Needle bundle - western white pine

Form

  • Needles evergreen
  • Remaining on tree for 3–4 years
  • In bundles of 5
  • Slender, straight
  • Triangular in cross-section
  • Flexible, soft
  • Edges finely toothed
  • Bundle-sheath scales deciduous during 1st season

Length

  • 5–10 cm

Colour

  • Bluish-green with lines of white dots

Buds

  • Terminal bud - western white pine

Form

  • Slender, blunt-pointed
  • Scales overlapping, close-fitting

Length

  • 10 mm

Colour

  • Brownish

Twigs

  • Microshoots in axils of scale leaves - western white pine

Form

  • Hairy, becoming hairless during 2nd season
  • Microshoot scars round or oval, set in a crescent-shaped leaf-cushion

Colour

  • Green, becoming brownish during 2nd season

Seed cones (mature)

  • Cone scale outer surface (left), seed and cone scale inner surface with winged seed (center), cone scale profile (right) - western white pine

Form

  • Cylindrical, slightly curved
  • Pendulous

Length

  • 10–30 cm
  • Stalk 2 cm

Structure

  • 90–160 scales, often reflexed when dry
  • In spiral rows, thin-tipped, without prickles

Timing

  • Seeds are shed soon after the cones mature
  • Cones fall during the winter

Seeds

Form

  • Mottled

Length

  • Seed 5–7 mm
  • Seed wing 18–26 mm

Colour

  • Seed brown

Seedlings

Form

  • 6–10 cotyledons, minutely toothed near their bases

Length

  • 16–30 mm

Bark

Form

  • Thin, smooth when young
  • With age broken into small, rectangular to hexagonal scaly plates, 2–4 cm thick, separated by deep longitudinal furrows and horizontal crevices

Colour

  • Greyish-green when young, becoming dark grey to nearly black with age

Wood

Texture

  • Soft, light, moderately strong
  • Non-resinous

Colour

  • Creamy-white to yellow

Morphology

  • Heartwood moderately decay-resistant

Uses

  • Carvings, window sashes and frames
  • Also doors, patterns, siding, paneling, trim, and wooden matches

Size

Height

  • To 50 m

Diameter

  • To 150 cm

Maximum age

  • 400 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - western white pine

Open-grown

Crown

  • Sometimes wide and one-sided

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Branch-free up to 25 m from the ground
  • With little taper

Crown

  • Slender, columnar
  • With short whorled branches

Root system

  • Wide-spreading, with a few vertical roots

Habitat

Site

  • The only 5-needled pine that grows at low elevations in the mountains of western Canada
  • Near the coast it reaches higher elevations
  • Thrives on a wide variety of sites
  • Peat bogs to dry sandy soils and rocky earth
  • Grows best in moist valleys and on gentle slopes

Light tolerance

  • Moderately shade-tolerant

Associated species

  • Usually mixed with other species

Range

Western North America

Insects and diseases

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

Distribution map
Distribution map - western white pine
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