White Pine

I was visiting a client last week and noticed that her white pine, Pinus strobus, was dropping cones. I asked if I could have one—they smell wonderful—and took it back to my office and put it on my desk. Late in the week I noticed  a bunch of little winged seeds scattered under it. The cone looked a little fluffed up—like a chilly bird–it had dried out, the scales had popped open, and the seeds had dropped.

The pinecone still has a few seeds to shed; they are lodged within their scales towards the base of the cone, in the upper lefthand corner.
A white pine cone with seeds it has shed behind it and to the right. If you look carefully at the scales near the base, some seeds are still nestled within. Photographed on March 6, 2019.

Several winged seeds are next to the cone.
The same white pine cone turned around, so that you are looking at the outsides of the scales. The globs at the tips of the scales are resin, and have a lovely piny scent. Photographed on March 6, 2019.

In the wild, white pine are the largest conifers in the northeast and upper midwest, with a few old-growth trees measuring over 150 feet tall. However, in cultivation, some miniature varieties mature at as little as 1 foot in height.

This cone came from a young tree that will probably eventually top out at 50–80 feet, a typical range in cultivation. It is a lovely tree, bushy in youth and wild and rangy looking in maturity, that needs plenty of space.