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Lawn & Garden

Eastern White Pine, Pinus strobus

Common Name: White Pine

Type: conifer

Family: Pinaceae

Zone: 3 to 8     Find Your Zone

Height: 50 to 80 feet

Width: 20 to 40 feet

Sun exposure: full sun to partial shade

Soil: moist to dry, well drained, acidic

Leaves: evergreen


As a child, my family and I would get a balled in burlap Christmas tree, bring it in the house in a bucket and use it for our Christmas tree. Once Christmas was over, we would drag the tree outside and plant it. Over the 23 years that we lived there, there was 20 years’ worth of Christmas trees. There were a few casualties, as the live Frasier Fir bit the dust, as did a couple Blue Spruce.


There was a White Pine in the mix that did fine in our yard in Georgia. There was also a large, mature White Pine across the street that all the neighborhood kids would climb, but that’s when kids use to play outside and climb trees.


This tree is distinctive, as it has symmetrical branches, soft blue needles and long slender pine cones. It also grows in a pyramidal shape, its branches grow all the way to the ground and its blue needles grow about 5 inches long and in bundles of 5. It makes a great screen in the landscape and also works well as a windbreak.

As a Christmas tree it has soft branches that struggle to hold heavy ornaments and will certainly drop needles quickly if you choose to cut this tree. Keep the roots on it and keep it with water and it will do fine in a bucket in the house for a month.

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STEP 1: Digging the hole

  • Find a location that has suitable sun exposure for your particular type of plant.
  • Dig your hole an inch or two shallower than the rootball of the plant.
  • Dig the hole twice the diameter of the rootball.
  • Scuff up the sides of the hole with a shovel to help roots break through the native soil.

STEP 2: Putting plant in hole

  • When removing the plant from the pot, check to see if the roots were circling the pot.
  • If the plant is rootbound, gently break up the roots with your hands until loosened up.
  • Set plant level, in the center of the hole.
  • Make sure the top of the rootball is just above soil level.

STEP 3: Amending the soil and filling in the hole

  • Amend the soil with proper amendments for your soil type. 
  • Incorporate 50% native soil with 50% amendment soils like garden soil, composted manure or soil conditioner.
  • Make sure dirt clods are broken up or removed from hole along with rocks.
  • Fill the hole with soils to the soil level and pack down. Do not cover top of rootball with dirt.
  • Water in thoroughly to remove air pockets.

STEP 4: Mulching and fertilizing

  • Cover the planting site with at least 2 inches of the mulch of your choice (pinestraw, cupress mulch,etc.)
  • High Phosphorus root stimulator fertilizers like Quick Start from Miracle Gro are great to use at time of planting.
  • When planting trees, a tree stake kit may be required to prevent the wind from blowing over or breaking our newly planted tree until it becomes established.

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Posted 2015-10-11T18:26:05+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL