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Toxic parts

The wood, sawdust and resins from various species of pine can cause dermatitis in sensitive people[1].

Edible uses


Seed - raw or cooked[2][3]. Rather small and fiddly, it is only about 6mm long[4]. The seed is mainly used as a flavouring in cooking[5].

The fresh needles are brewed into an aromatic tea that is rich in vitamins A and C[6]. A refreshing drink is made from the leaves[3]. An acceptable candy is made by boiling the tender new shoots in syrup[6]. The sticky amber sap can be used for chewing[2][3]. A vanillin flavouring is obtained as a by-product of other resins that are released from the pulpwood[4]. The firm unexpanded male cones can be boiled and used as a flavouring[7][6]. A pleasant sweet flavour[8].

Inner bark - raw or cooked. A sweet flavour[9][3][10][5]. There are no more details but inner bark is often dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread.

Unknown part


Inner bark

Material uses

A tan or green dye is obtained from the needles[11].

The needles contain a substance called terpene, this is released when rain washes over the needles and it has a negative effect on the germination of some plants, including wheat[12]. Oleo-resins are present in the tissues of all species of pines, but these are often not present in sufficient quantity to make their extraction economically worthwhile[13]. The resins are obtained by tapping the trunk, or by destructive distillation of the wood[14][13]. In general, trees from warmer areas of distribution give the higher yields[13]. Turpentine consists of an average of 20% of the oleo-resin[13] and is separated by distillation[14][13]. Turpentine has a wide range of uses including as a solvent for waxes etc, for making varnish, medicinal etc[14]. Rosin is the substance left after turpentine is removed. This is used by violinists on their bows and also in making sealing wax, varnish etc[14]. Pitch can also be obtained from the resin and is used for waterproofing canoes, containers etc, as a wood preservative etc[8].

Wood - straight and close-grained, light, soft, not strong, works easily and takes an excellent natural or painted finish[15][16][17][18][19][20]. It weighs 24lb per cubic foot[21]. A very valuable timber[21], the wood is especially suited for making the masts of ships[14] and is also used for lumber, cheap furniture, house interiors, construction etc[15][16][17][18][19][20].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

White pine was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who valued it especially for its antiseptic and vulnerary qualities, using it extensively in the treatment of skin complaints, wounds, burns, boils etc[8]. It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and so was used in treating coughs, colds, influenza and so on[8].

The turpentine obtained from the resin of all pine trees is antiseptic, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge[14]. It is a valuable remedy used internally in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints and is used both internally and as a rub and steam bath in the treatment of rheumatic affections[14]. It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and so is useful in treating diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory complaints such as coughs, colds, influenza and TB[14]. Externally it is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils etc and is used in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers[14]. A poultice of pitch has been used to draw out toxins from boils and reduce the pain[8]. The dried inner bark is demulcent, diuretic and expectorant[14]. An infusion was used as a treatment for colds[5] and it is still used as an ingredient in commercial cough syrups, where it serves to promote the expulsion of phlegm[5]. A poultice made from the pounded inner bark is used to treat cuts, sores and wounds[5]. The wetted inner bark can be used as a poultice on the chest in treating strong colds[8]. The dried inner bark contains 10% tannin, some mucilage, an oleoresin, a glycoside and a volatile oil[5]. A tea made from the young needles is used to treat sore throats[5]. It is a good source of vitamin C and so is effective against scurvy[5]. An infusion of the young twigs has been used in the treatment of kidney disorders and pulmonary complaints[8].

The powdered wood has been used as a dressing on babies chaffed skin, sores and improperly healed navels[8].


Ecosystem niche/layer


Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


It is best to sow the seed in individual pots in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible otherwise in late winter. A short stratification of 6 weeks at 4°c can improve the germination of stored seed[22]. Plant seedlings out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and protect them for their first winter or two[23]. Plants have a very sparse root system and the sooner they are planted into their permanent positions the better they will grow[K]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm[4]. We actually plant them out when they are about 5 - 10cm tall. So long as they are given a very good weed-excluding mulch they establish very well[K]. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[4]. Cuttings. This method only works when taken from very young trees less than 10 years old. Use single leaf fascicles with the base of the short shoot. Disbudding the shoots some weeks before taking the cuttings can help. Cuttings are normally slow to grow away[24].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Pinus strobus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Thrives in a light well-drained sandy or gravelly loam[25][23]. Dislikes poorly drained moorland soils[25]. Established plants tolerate drought[4]. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[26].

The white pine is a very important timber crop in its native range, the huge stands that existed before the Europeans went to N. America have been largely cut down[20]. It is a fast-growing and fairly long-lived tree[20] that is often cultivated as a timber tree, especially in central Europe[27]. Young trees grow very vigorously with new shoots of up to 1 metre common. Growth slows and almost ceases by the time the tree is 20 metres tall[28]. Trees can produce cones when 5 - 10 years old, but reliable seed production takes another 10 years[20]. Good crops are produced every 3 - 5 years in the wild, with little seed in the intervening years[20]. The cones are 10 - 20cm long and take 2 years to mature[17][20], they open and shed their seed in late summer whilst still attached to the tree[17][19]. Plants often self-sow in Britain[28]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[4]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[4]. Trees have a very thin bark, which makes them particularly susceptible to forest fires[19]. This species is very susceptible to white pine blister rust, it should not be grown near any gooseberries or currants (Ribes species) since these plants can act as vectors for the disease[25][29]. Plants are also subject to aphid damage[25]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[4].

Leaf secretions inhibit the germination of seeds, thereby reducing the amount of plants that can grow under the trees[30].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Pinus strobus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Pinus strobus.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Pinus strobus
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
20 x 5 meters
Flower Colour
Flower Type

"image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki."image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


  1. ? Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
  2. ? Kavasch. B. Native Harvests. Vintage Books ISBN 0-394-72811-4 (1979-00-00)
  3. ? McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (1977-00-00)
  4. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  5. ? Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
  6. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  8. ? Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
  11. ? 11.011.1 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993-00-00)
  13. ? Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins. Faber ()
  14. ? 14.0014.0114.0214.0314.0414.0514.0614.0714.0814.0914.1014.11 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  15. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  16. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  17. ? Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
  18. ? Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
  19. ? Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN 0889025649 (1989-00-00)
  20. ? Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
  21. ? Britton. N. L. Brown. A. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada Dover Publications. New York. ISBN 0-486-22642-5 (1970-00-00)
  22. ? McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
  23. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  24. ? Rushforth. K. Conifers. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X (1987-00-00)
  25. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  26. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
  27. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)
  28. ? 28.028.1 Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles. HMSO ISBN 0-11-710012-9 (1975-00-00)
  29. ? ? The Plantsman. Vol. 2. 1980 - 1981. Royal Horticultural Society (1980-00-00)
  30. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
  31. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-43

"image:Pinus strobus trees.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Pinus strobus"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyPinaceae +
Belongs to genusPinus +
Has binomial namePinus strobus +
Has common nameWhite Pine +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partUnknown part +, Flowers +, Inner bark + and Seed +
Has edible useCondiment +, Drink +, Unknown use +, Gum + and Tea +
Has environmental toleranceDrought +
Has fertility typeSelf sterile + and Wind +
Has flowers of typeMonoecious +
Has growth rateVigorous +
Has imagePinus strobus trees.jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useDye +, Herbicide +, Pitch +, Waterproofing + and Wood +
Has mature height20 +
Has mature width5 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAntiscorbutic +, Demulcent +, Diuretic +, Expectorant +, Miscellany +, Pectoral +, Poultice + and Salve +
Has primary imagePinus strobus trees.jpg +
Has search namepinus strobus + and white pine +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid + and Neutral +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy + and Loamy +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy namePinus strobus +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy +
Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus +, Pinus strobus + and Pinus strobus +