Nine Fine Pines

There are over 175 different types of pine trees. Several are native to Canada, but many more can be found within our borders as well. Pines are cone-bearing coniferous trees with long needles that come in bundles of 2-5 bunches and are often long-lived, growing from 100-1000 years. Whether you choose a pine tree for your Christmas tree this year or choose to plant one on your property to enjoy, you can’t go wrong with hardy pine trees.

Here’s a look at nine pines you might come across in Canada.

Nine Fine Pines

White Pines offered by ReForest London at Western Fair

White Pines offered by ReForest London at Western Fair

Eastern White Pine –

  • Provincial tree of Ontario, native to Canada, only pine listed as best choice to plant in London, Ontario by ReForest London, 20-35 metres tall, tolerates some shade when younger, but prefers full sun, skinny needles 5-12 cm long and come in bundles of five, cones 8-20 cm long and hang down from branches, dark grayish-brown bark with thick ridges, contains few knotholes, wood doesn’t twist or shrink, popular choice for Christmas trees, was preferred tree for making masts by British Royal Navy

 

The Jack Pine, by Tom Thomson.jpg

“The Jack Pine, by Tom Thomson” by Tom Thomson – 1. Artwork Page: The Jack Pine 2. National Gallery of Canada. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Jack Pine –

  • native to Canada, most widely found pine tree in Canada, plant with caution in London, ON according to ReForest London, up to 24 metres tall, can grow in most soils, but will get gnarled when grown in rocky locations, requires full sun, twisted needles come in bundles of two and are 2-4 cm long, cones often skinny and curved 2.5-8 cm long and persist on the tree for a number of years, scaly ridges on dark bark, provides food source for animals, used for timber, pulpwood and to stabilize watersheds, was made popular by artist Tom Thomson

 

Red pine

Red Pine –

  • native to Canada, found in northern Ontario, but recommended to use with caution in London, ON according to ReForest London, 20-30 metres tall, straight trunk, prefers full sun, needles come in bundles of two and are 10-16 cm long, ovoid cones, bark is reddish to pink and flaky, not tolerant of salt damage or air pollution, used for railway ties, posts, mine timbers, pulpwood and windbreaks

 

Pitch Pine

Pitch Pine – 

  • native to Canada, found in Eastern Ontario, up to 20 metres tall, prefers full sun, twisted, blunt needles are 7-12 cm long and sometimes sprout out of trunk, needles come in bundles of three, oval cones are covered in sharp spines and stay on the tree for several years, flaky bark is dark grey, very fire-resistant tree and will resprout from burnt trunk, fire helps to open cones to release seeds
Pinus flexilis male cones.jpg

“Pinus flexilis male cones” by USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E. et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook. USDA NRCS ND State Soil Conservation Committee; NDSU Extension and Western Area Power Admin., Bismarck, ND. – [1]. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Limber Pine –

  • native to North America, found in Alberta and British Columbia, 5-10 metres tall, twisted tree with short limbs, needles are 3-9 cm in bundles of five, large, sticky, cylindrical cones are 8-20 cm, silvery gray bark with wide, scaly plates as it matures, popular food source for many animals, used as an ornamental

 

Lodgepole Pine

Lodgepole Pine –

  • Provincial tree of Alberta, native to North America, found in British Columbia and Alberta, up to 30 metres tall, slender, straight trunk, sharp, twisted needles are 3-7 cm long in bundles of two, cones are 3-6 cm and are curved back towards the branch with sharp pricks on their tips, thin bark is yellowish brown and scaly, as with other pines fire helps release the seeds from cones and it is one of the first trees to come back after fire, trees were used to build homes and lodges for First Nations people, resin was used as a base for many medicines, used for railway ties, construction, fence posts, plywood

 

PonderosaPinebarkidaho.JPG

“PonderosaPinebarkidaho” by Jami Dwyer (talk · contribs) – http://www.flickr.com/photos/74281168@N00/191429570/. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Ponderosa Pine –

  • native to Canada, found in British Columbia, 25-30 metres tall, straight trunk, sharp, slender needles are 12-28 cm in bundles of three, oval cones are 7-14 cm, thick, bright orangey-brown bark in flat, flaky plates, long deep roots, First Nations people used for making dugout canoes, resin used to waterproof moccasins, also used for making doors, windows, panelling

 

western white pine, Pinus monticola (Pinales: Pinaceae) - 0808058

Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service (retired), Bugwood.org Creative Commons License licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Western White Pine –

  • native to Canada, found in British Columbia, up to 60 metres tall, straight trunk, soft, slender needles 5-10 cm long in bundles of five, cylindrical cones 10-25 cm long, initially thin bark, grows darker and with small rectangular plates, susceptible to white pine blister rust, used for furniture making, molding, trim

 

Whitebark Pine

Whitebark Pine –

  • native to Canada, found in Alberta and British Columbia, listed as endangered species at risk in Canada, range in size from shrub to 20 metres tall depending upon where it is located, stiff, smooth needles 3-9 cm in bundles of five, oval to round cones 3-8 cm, seeds favoured by Clark’s nutcracker, highly susceptible to white pine blister rust

 

**Bonus Pine Tree**

Scots Pine

Scots Pine

  • non-native pine, ReForest London does NOT recommend for planting in London, Ontario, one of the most popular Christmas tree varieties (even though it is native to Europe & Asia), grows up to 18 metres, twisted needles are 2.5-5 cm in bundle of two, holds its needles well (hence its popularity as a Christmas tree), hard cones point backward and are up to 8cm, thick dark-gray bark, favoured by deer, loved by Canadians for Christmas trees
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CLC Tree Services has been providing premiere tree services to London and the surrounding area since 1988. We focus on providing tree services to residential, commercial, property owners and property management agencies. We have the desire, knowledge and equipment to solve all difficult tree problems.
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