- Eastern White Pine
Growing Zone: 3 – 8
Mature Height: 50 to 60 feet
Mature Width: 20 to 30 feet
Sunlight: Full Sun
Foliage color: Dark Green
Soil Conditions: Adaptable
Water Req: Avg. Soil
Growth Rate: 3-5 feet year
Does Not Ship To: CA, WA, OR, AZ
The Eastern White Pine grows almost everywhere in the eastern United States into the midwest. It is hardy in USDA zones 3 – 8, which covers a huge portion of the United States. It isn’t picky about soil and will grow in sandy soils and heavy clay soils equally well. It is also practically maintenance-free. The only major maintenance is limbing-up after several years of growth. Unlike some evergreen plants, Eastern White Pine has few pest and disease problems. If you’ve had problems with Leyland Cypress in your yard, this plant is a great replacement.
Possibly the best feature of this evergreen is that deer don’t favor the taste. What’s the point in planting a beautiful evergreen if you have to cover it up with burlap or deer netting every winter? Eastern White Pine does just fine without those ugly protections. Because of its ease of care and maintenance, Eastern White Pine is a perfect choice for any homeowner who needs a fast-growing evergreen tree for privacy. Arborvitae Green Giant can be used as a screening buffer for privacy, or as a bold focal point when planted as a specimen due to the bright green coloring of the foliage. Eastern White Pine trees make a great windbreak, standing up to the strongest of winter winds. Wind breaks are a perfect way to reduce your heating bills in the winter time by blocking the cold winds that sneak into the house and create a chilly environment. They can also be used to block the low setting sun which tends due to the low angle in the evenings heat up the outer walls of homes and comes through the windows and raises the temperature in a room quickly. When creating a wind break or privacy hedge its important to know how far apart to space your plants. Eastern White Pine trees can be planted as close as 10 feet apart and as far apart as 15 to 18 feet. How soon you want privacy is the major concern when deciding how close to plant you newly purchased trees. Obviously planting them closer together will reach the privacy goal faster. An even better method of creating a privacy hedge which can also act as a sound buffer is to plant in a staggered row. Basically you plant one row of trees and then plant another row 6 to 8 feet in front of the first row filling in the gaps between the plants. This method creates instant privacy and will virtually eliminate unwanted sounds once it fills in.
Growth Rate of the Eastern White Pine:
Eastern White Pine grows rapidly and once established gains more than 3 feet of height every year. However, the tree more commonly reaches mature heights of 50 to 60 feet with a spread of up to 25 feet. Eastern White Pine is a versatile native tree that thrives in bright sunlight or light shade. In its natural environment, the tree grows in boggy areas and along river banks. Although the tree grows in nearly any moist, well-drained soil, it doesn’t tolerate soggy, poorly drained areas. Because Eastern White Pine is so large, it is best suited for growing in roomy landscapes and large spaces such as parks. The tree makes an effective windbreak.
How to Plant a Eastern White Pine:
Never plant trees deeper than originally planted in the pot. Doing so can cause rotting of the stem and death to the tree. Eastern White Pine are very drought tolerant, however they grow very slow without adequate water. Staking young trees is recommended. When tying trees to stakes remember the tree will continue to grow. Loosely tie the Eastern White Pine with several twist ties to allow for growth. Check trees every three months and loosen as needed. If this is not done, the twist tie will grow into the tree causing injury. The one question that comes up often, “when is the best time to plant.”? For the most part, container trees can be planted year around, provided the ground isn’t frozen. Below Virginia many nurseries and Christmas tree growers field plant year around, weather permitting. When planting a potted Eastern White Pine, remember the only water source the tree has, is its small root ball, and all the water the tree uses must come from there until new roots can grow into the surrounding soil.
Eastern White Pine as a Privacy Screen:
Eastern White Pine is hardy to Zone 3. It is a pyramidal tree, which can reach up to 60 feet tall and up to 18 feet wide which makes it good for tall screen. It is graceful, and somewhat open in habit of growth. Give Eastern White Pine trees ample room, to allow for symmetry of growth. It grows well in a variety of soils, but prefers good drainage. The Eastern White Pine tree is great if you need to create fast privacy for your home. It’s a fast growing tree growing around 2-3 feet per year where its happy. We recommend planting Eastern White Pine in a line with about 10 feet apart from each other to create quick privacy, however they can be planted at 15 to 20 foot intervals if you don’t mind waiting a bit for privacy. When planting alone the tree takes on a pyramidal shape and can be grown as a specimen tree to break sight-lines. Double row plantings of Eastern White Pinee are a great way to not only create privacy but to reduce noise from a busy roadway adjacent to your property for example.
How to Water a Eastern White Pine:
After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the plant a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks. More plants die from being over-watered rather than under-watered.
How to Mulch an Eastern White Pine:
We highly recommend that you mulch your plants with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or trunk of the plant. as the tree begins to mature you’ll find it will start to produce its own mulch in the form of fallen needles or “Pine Straw”. In September and October, this pine “sheds “all of its needles that grew out the previous year. This is normal and is actually a sign of a healthy white pine. These needles make excellent mulch and can be either left in place or raked up and used to mulch other acid loving plants.
How to Fertilize an Eastern White Pine:
We recommend when planting your Eastern White Pine to use Bio-tone starter fertilizer by Espoma. We have tried many so called “starter fertilizers” over the years and have come to rely on Bio-tone exclusively for our own use. Simply mix the recommended amount of Bio-tone into the back-fill soil and water in generously when back-filled. Bio-tone® Starter Plus is an all-natural plant food that is combined with a stronger concentration of our beneficial bacteria along with both endo and ecto mycorrhizae. Basically the “good” fungus in Bio-tone colonizes on the growing roots of your newly planted plant and does not allow disease causing fungus to attack the new roots. It has also shown promise in stimulating the growth of the new roots which means quicker establishment for you plant.
After establishment and during the following years we recommend Holly-tone used at the recommended rates. It is also organic and slow release which will feed your trees the proper amount of nutrients over a period of time rather than all at once which can burn the root tips and actually have the opposite effect of slowing down plant growth. It also will help to maintain the acid level in the soil that Eastern White Pine need to thrive.
How to Prune an Eastern White Pine:
Eastern White Pine trees take on a tall, broad-based, pyramidal shape if left un-pruned. However, a young tree can be trained and its growth restrained if pruning is done on a regular basis. The Eastern White Pine does best when grown with a single leader and extra main stems should be removed at planting. The tree’s overall growth can be controlled by pruning its side branches annually, cutting back each branch back by about one-third, and by topping the tree slightly during each pruning session. Arborvitae trees also respond well to light pruning or shearing later in the growing season, at any time between spring and early-to-mid summer. However, avoid pruning a tree in late summer or fall, since pruning stimulates new growth, which is tender and easily damaged by dropping temperatures in fall and winter.