The Western White Pine, known as the Silver Pine in the Northwest, is very different in appearance from the Eastern White Pine, although similar in the character of the wood. Western White Pine is a symmetrical tree towering to a height of 175 feet with a trunk diameter up to 5 feet. It ranks as one of the most important soft wood trees of our country. It has a very long clear trunk, slender drooping branches, needles of pale bluish green 3 to 5 inches long, in bundles of ﬁve. The bark is comparatively smooth, thin and uniformly broken by medium furrows forming
oblong blocks. The cones are 6 to 12 inches long, slightly curved and slender. This tree is still a very important one in the lumber industry. Young trees are very susceptible to the White Pine Blister Rust disease which kills large areas of young growth each year. The pine bark beetle also does widespread damage.
The speciﬁc name MONTICOLA means mountain-dweller. The Western White Pine is a beautiful forest conifer, and being the ofﬁcial State tree of Idaho, it is quite commonly known as the Idaho White Pine. It attains its best growth in Idaho.
- Western White Pine (trade)
- Norway Western White Pine (trade)
- Finger-cone Pine (Calif.)
- Silver Pine (Northwest States)
- Idaho White Pine (trade)
- Soft Pine (Calif.)
- Little Sugar Pine (Calif.)
- Soft Idaho White Pine (trade)
- Mountain Pine (Calif.)
- Western White Pine
- Mountain Weymouth Pine
- White Pine (Calif., Nev., Oreg.)
The growth range of Western White Pine extends from the southern region of British Columbia southward along the Cascade Mountains and the Sierra Nevada's through Washington and Oregon to central California, and eastward into western Montana and northern Idaho. The heaviest stands are found in northern Idaho, eastern Washington and western Montana.
The heartwood of Western White Pine is very light cream to light reddish brown or yellow to orange color, and like the Eastern White Pine darkens somewhat on exposure. The sapwood is narrow to medium wide and a nearly white to pale yellowish white. The wood is straight-grained, resin ducts are small, numerous and conspicuous. The rays are very ﬁne and not visible to the naked eye. It is moderately stiff but rather weak, moderately soft, straight, even-grained, very uniform in texture, very free from resin, light weight and easily worked. Glues and holds paint very well and does not easily split in nailing. When well seasoned the wood stays in place and shrinks very little.
This lumber has the same uses as Eastern White Pine and is in great demand for pattern making, this being the standard species for this purpose; building construction, matches, ﬁxtures, cabinets, sash, doors, interior trim, boxes, crates and other containers, toys, dairy and poultry supplies, turned articles, and endless other uses where a soft wood of straight grain, non-porous and uniform texture is desired.
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Western White Pine found in the Northwestern hemisphere of North America
Attribution: By Dorena Genetic Resource Center, Region 6, United States Forest Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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Natural distribution map for Pinus monticola
Attribution: By Elbert L. Little, Jr., of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, and others - USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center: Digital Representations of Tree Species Range Maps from "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr. (and other publications), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29548253