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.
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.