This popular tree grows statewide in Wisconsin in sandy, well-drained soils and along rock ridges. The white pine has a straight stem and a nice pyramid shape with soft gray-green needles, making it one of the most majestic trees in the state. It can grow to be 100 feet tall. The bark is thin greenish-gray on young bark, but gray, thick and deeply cut on older trees.
Look for the distinctive bluish-green needles that are 3-5 inches long. They grow in bundles of five. You can remember that the white pine has five needles per bundle by counting the number of letters in the word white (5). White = five letters, white pine = five needles. The cones are long (4-6 inches) with thin and far-spread scales that each contain two small winged seeds. Cones mature after two years, in August or September.
The wood from the white pine is light and soft, used for making matches and lumber. People also make cabinets, windows, interior woodwork and wooden craft items.
White pine is very susceptible to air pollution damage and can be an indicator of poor air quality.