White Pine - Tree Plantation, Timber, Lumber and Veneer
White pine trees can be more valuable than oak as clear grained knot free dimensional lumber and veneer. Much of the White pine grown today is sold as “knotty pine” because virtually all of the clear old growth saw logs were harvested long ago. Managed stands of White Pine can produce high-grade veneer and dimensional lumber saw logs. Tall 20-foot White pine seedlings are planted 500 per acre to encourage terminal trunk growth. Every second tree is thinned in 10 years to build trunk diameter and again in year 20. White pine is native to the Great Lakes region of North America and has been successfully introduced to many other regions of the world including the U.K. and parts of continental Europe.
White Pine - A Historic Tree
At the height of the last ice age, White pine grew as far south as present day Carolina and pats of the Continental shelf. With the melting of the continental ice sheets and the slow rise of sea levels, White Pine moved westward, off the Continental Shelf, arriving in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia about 12,700 years ago. Because it had to migrate north around the Appalachians and south around the Great Lakes, it would be some 3500 years before it reached present day Minnesota. The western movement of White Pine was still ongoing through Minnesota when the first Europeans arrived. Native Americans were said to have used the inner bark as an emergency food source. The whitish resin, which seeps out of the wounds of this tree was mixed with beeswax by the Iroquois and used to seal the seams of their canoes. White pine forests were a valued source of 18th Century naval stores; the Royal Navy once reserved large tracts for shipbuilding. Heavy logging for building materials and furniture followed the westward course of settlement throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Regeneration was poor because of the lack of seed trees and the destruction of remaining seedlings and saplings by fire (such as the great Hinkley Fire). Today, few virgin stands remain.
White Pine is the provincial tree of Ontario and the state tree for Maine and Michigan.
Eastern White Pine North American Growing Zones
Eastern White pine native growing areas are concentrated in Eastern Canada and the United States, with the highest concentration in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Although native to Eastern North America, Easten White pine may also be grown in microclimate areas of the Western States and Canada, principally in coastal interior areas of the province of British Columbia and Washington State.
White Pine Wood Products
White Pine wood is classified as softwood with a soft to medium wood density. Color varies from creamy white to pale straw, with occasional contrasting orange/brown growth rings. White Pine is used in cabinet. White pine is one of the most valuable softwoods in eastern North America and is used extensively for interior trim, window sashes, door frames and for intricate carpentry. It is an excellent carving material. Lightweight, soft, even-textured, and easily worked, Eastern White Pine is probably the least resinous of all pines. It does not swell or shrink with moisture content changes and displays remarkable durability as shown by the large number of houses built of Eastern White Pine in New England more than 200 years ago. Because of these desirable characteristics, Eastern White pine is also used for millwork, knotty pine paneling, siding and boards for boxes, crates, coffins, boats, woodenware, and novelties. White Pine is also grown extensively for Christmas trees.
The following comments where collected from a national wood products discussion forum using White Pine in the United States.
Comment from contributor A:
White pine is a preferred species in the market place. I know this because that in stumpage, log, or lumber form it brings a higher dollar return. In almost any market condition prices for eastern white pine lumber select grades will exceed red oak selects, the molding and shop grades will compete favorably with number one and number two common red oak, and the common grades easily outstrip the number two and number three grades of red oak. The comparison is even more dramatic when compared to other eastern softwoods such as red pine, jack pine, spruce and balsam fir.
Comment from contributor B:
One of the big problems with planting White Pine seedlings is that deer browse on the young seedlings, either taking the whole tree or just eating the top terminal bud. On average, nearly 70% of newly transplanted White pine seedlings are lost every winter. The only way to protect the seedlings is to either construct a deer fence or cover each tree with a tree cap or tube but these are expensive solutions. Planting taller seedlings that would be out of the deer’s reach would seem to be a more pragmatic solution.
Comment from contributor C:
There is a definite correlation between tree size and economic value. Although trees are limb pruned early on to reduce blister rust of juvenile trees, an equally important reason is to start creating clear boles. Eventually, trees are pruned free of limbs to an eighteen foot height. Since crop trees are headed for a long life and large diameter, this early limb pruning pays great economic dividends. Left to prune naturally, the trees would have to reach 100 plus years before their trunks would be clear faced. And since there is a manifold differential between the value of clear wood and knot-studded wood in white pine lumber (or in any lumber or veneer for that matter) early pruning will increase value and shorten time to harvest.
White Pine Tree Seedlings
White Pine seedlings are grown from seed and then transplanted in the nursery where we use proprietary propagation methods to grow tall, knot free veneer quality saplings to an average height of 10 feet in 5 years. These tall seedlings allow tree plantation owners to harvest veneer grade sawlogs much sooner.
White Pine plantations are becoming more common in Southern Ontario and the Great Lakes States. Once the dominant tree, it is rare to find an old growth tall, clear-grained tree of any size in these areas.
White Pine plantation costs average between $500 and $800 per acre depending on how many acres are planted per project – the more acres planted the lower the cost. An average planting of 800 trees per acre is common. A thinning program should be initiated during year 10 of the plantation cutting every second tree so the remaining trees will size up. On average, the thinned trees will increase two times diameter compared to a plantation with no thinning.
Note* It is important to transplant seedlings that are at least 3 years old and 2 feet tall so they will survive the first and second winters. It is also advisable to use tree shelters or security fencing to protect young pine tree seedlings from grazing deer. Starting a White Pine plantation with 10-foot tall tree seedlings should eliminate the need for shelters and fencing.
Depending on market conditions, clear-grained White Pine can earn gross revenues between $25,000 and $35,000 per acre in year 30 and double that in year 50. Number 1 grade veneer trees could be worth 4 times that amount.
300 White Pine Tree Seedlings
White Pine Average Height: 15 feet
White Pine Tree Seedling Age: 5 years
Email For White Pine Pricing: firstname.lastname@example.org