This tall pine is most easily distinguished
by its large banana-shaped cones. It can grow to 200 feet (60 meters).
Western white pine has 5
needles per bundle. In northwest Oregon and western Washington, you can
identify it by
counting the needles and noting the elevation. Whitebark pine
also has 5 needles per
bundle, but usually grows at higher elevations near the
Western white pine cones have distinctive shape like a banana.
The length is banana sized, too. The scales
often have a white, sticky
resin on them.
is gray and breaks into rectangular plates on large trees.
it grows: Western white pine grows
throughout the Cascades and in the Coast Range at elevations of 3000 to
feet (900 to 1500 meters) in Oregon and down to sea level in northwest
Washington. It also
grows in northeast corners of Oregon and Washington, and in northern
Idaho. It is
the state tree of Idaho. In California, it grows in the
Siskiyous and Sierras.
Although not a
major timber tree, western white pine has uses similar to
ponderosa pine. It's also used to make wooden
matches. The wood is light, attractive, and easy to work, making it
ideal for wood carving.
Western white pine was first described and named by David Douglas. Monticola
is Latin for "mountain
dweller." Other common names: Idaho pine and mountain pine.