White Pine



White Pine. I found two of them growing behind the house, back in the brush, and it was obvious they were leaning toward the light, desperate to capture the sun. They were about four years old, three feet tall, and an inch in diameter. I moved them out into the open front yard where they get sunlight. They are about twelve years old in this picture. With plenty of rain, and fertilizer, they add eighteen inches in twelve months. We’ve had a lot of rain this spring.


The picture above is dated 2010. The weather was much dryer that year and the greenery shows it; mostly weeds. The grass does very poorly without rain. The two little white pine are barely visible.  Most years the summer drought started early in June and continued until late fall.

I bought twenty-five more seedlings, planting them around my two and a half acres. I think I have about ten, maybe twelve that survived. Some were covered up in tall grass and the lawn mower got them.

Trees are surprisingly fragile things; susceptible to weather damage, and in this case White Pine Blight, a fungus infection. You have to trim off the lower branches to prevent the blight. The fungus spends part of its lifecycle on current bushes, and I thought it was said on Raspberries. Now I can’t find the cite. You can have berries, or white pine, but not both. The wild berry bushes I have don’t produce fruit, so they get ripped up. With water and fertilizer, I could probably get berries, but I would rather have the trees.


The tree on the right is a red pine, I’ve been told, and is a feeding station for a sapsucker that has nearly killed the tree. The two next larger pine, are the two white pine moved from the back to the sunlight in the front. The smaller are seedlings now about five years old or so. Part of the reason for trees in the front is the summer sunlight makes the front yard an oven. The hottest days of the summer warm the house to an uncomfortable degree. Most often the summer high is mid eighties, but there are years when one hundred degrees last about ten days, and that is misery as we are acclimated to a temperature range from thirty below zero to around sixty above on the Fahrenheit scale.  As I write this, the current outdoor temperature is forty five degrees. We have had a lot of rain this month. Every day, every night, rain. Heavy rain at times. The White Pine are growing like weeds. The Cedar tree in the middle image is reaching close to the power line, the high voltage distribution line. What the previous owners were thinking when they planted the White Cedar beneath the power line is difficult to guess.


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