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Overview

Brief Summary

Pinaceae -- Pine family

    Russell T. Graham

    Western white pine (Pinus monticola), also called mountain white  pine, Idaho white pine, or silver pine, is an important timber tree. Its  lightweight, nonresinous, straight-grained wood exhibits dimensional  stability that makes it particularly valuable for sash, frames, and doors,  interior paneling, building construction, match wood, and toothpicks.  Western white pine grows rapidly to a large size; one of the largest  standing trees measures 200 cm (78.6 in) in d.b.h. and 72.8 m (239 ft)  tall in the mountains near Medford, OR.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Russell T. Graham

Source: Silvics of North America

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Distribution

Global Range: Western white pine occurs only in western North America from British Columbia to California, eastwards to Utah and Montana.

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Western white pine occurs in the Pacific Northwest. The northern
boundary of its range is at Quesnel Lake, British Columbia, latitude 52
deg. 30 min. N., and the southern boundary is at Tulare County,
California, latitude 35 deg. 51 min. N. The western boundary is marked
by the Pacific Coast, and the eastern boundary is at Glacier National
Park, Montana. Western white pine reaches its greatest size and best
stand and commercial development in northern Idaho and adjacent parts of
Montana, Washington, and British Columbia [11].
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

1 Northern Pacific Border
2 Cascade Mountains
4 Sierra Mountains
8 Northern Rocky Mountains

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Occurrence in North America

CA ID MT NV OR WA AB BC

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Western white pine grows along the west coast from latitude 35° 51'  N. in southern Tulare County, CA, to latitude 51° 30' N. near Butte  Inlet in southern British Columbia. Along the west coast, the species  grows on Vancouver Island, in adjacent British Columbia, southward through  Washington and Oregon, and in the Cascade Mountains (7). It is also found  in the Siskiyou Mountains of southern Oregon and northern California, in  the Sierra Nevada of California, and near Lake Tahoe, NV.

    In the interior, western white pine grows from latitude 52° 30' N.  near Quesnel Lake, BC, southward through the Selkirk Mountains of eastern  Washington and northern Idaho, and into the Bitterroot Mountains in  western Montana. Its southernmost interior limit is in the Blue Mountains  of northeastern Oregon (latitude 44° 14' N.). Isolated populations  are found as far east as Glacier National Park, MT. It attains its  greatest size and reaches its best stand and commercial development in the  Inland Empire, which includes northern Idaho and adjacent sections of  Montana, Washington, and British Columbia (28).

     
- The native range of western white pine.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Russell T. Graham

Source: Silvics of North America

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees to 70m; trunk to 2.5m diam., straight; crown narrowly conic, becoming broad and flattened. Bark gray, distinctly platy, plates scaly. Branches nearly whorled, spreading-ascending; twigs slender, pale red-brown, rusty puberulent and slightly glandular (rarely glabrous), aging purple-brown or gray, smooth. Buds ellipsoid or cylindric, rust-colored, 0.4--0.5cm, slightly resinous. Leaves 5 per fascicle, spreading to ascending, persisting 3--4 years, 4--10cm ´ 0.7--1mm, straight, slightly twisted, pliant, blue-green, abaxial surface without evident stomatal lines, adaxial surfaces with evident stomatal lines, margins finely serrulate, apex broadly to narrowly acute; sheath 1--1.5cm, shed early. Pollen cones ellipsoid, 10--15mm, yellow. Seed cones maturing in 2 years, shedding seeds and falling soon thereafter, clustered, pendent, symmetric, lance-cylindric to ellipsoid-cylindric before opening, broadly lanceoloid to ellipsoid-cylindric when open, 10--25cm, creamy brown to yellowish, without purple or gray tints, resinous, stalks to 2cm; umbo terminal, depressed. Seeds compressed, broadly obovoid-deltoid; body 5--7mm, red-brown; wing 2--2.5cm. 2 n =24.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

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Description

More info for the term: tree

Western white pine is a native, evergreen, long-lived (400+ years),
monoecious tree [9,11,16,44]. It can reach 200 feet (60 m) in height
and 8 feet (2.4 m) in d.b.h. The needles, 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long,
are in bundles of five. The bark on young trees is smooth and grayish
green but on mature trees becomes grayish brown, scaley, and separated
into rectangular plates [16]. The crown is narrow and composed of
regularly spaced branches [1]. In dense stands western white pine
self-prunes well, leaving a long, clean bole [16].

The root system consists of a taproot and lateral roots which can spread
up to 26 feet (8 m). Most (75 percent) of the lateral roots are in the
upper 24 inches (60 cm) of soil [11].

The male strobili are yellow, and the female strobili are reddish
purple. Mature female strobili are 5 to 15 inches (12-38 cm) in length
[44].

The early growth of western white pine is not rapid, but it is the
fastest growing sapling and pole-sized tree in the Northern Rockies
[8,13].
  • 8. Fischer, William C.; Bradley, Anne F. 1987. Fire ecology of western Montana forest habitat types. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-223. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 95 p. [633]
  • 16. Hosie, R. C. 1969. Native trees of Canada. 7th ed. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Forestry Service, Department of Fisheries and Forestry. 380 p. [3375]
  • 1. Arno, Stephen F.; Hammerly, Ramona P. 1977. Northwest trees. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers. 222 p. [4208]
  • 9. Franklin, Jerry F.; Hemstrom, Miles A. 1981. Aspects of succession in the coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. In: Forest succession: concepts and application. New York: Springer-Verlag: 212-229. [7931]
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]
  • 13. Halverson, Nancy M.; Emmingham, William H. 1982. Reforestation in the Cascades Pacific silver fir zone; a survey of sites and management experiences on the Gifford Pinchot, Mt. Hood and Willame. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service R-6 Area Guide R6-ECOL-091-1982. Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, Oregon 37 p. [12491]
  • 44. Preston, Richard J., Jr. 1948. North American trees. Ames, IA: The Iowa State College Press. 371 p. [1913]

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Physical Description

Tree, Evergreen, Monoecious, Habit erect, Trees without or rarely having knees, Tree with bark rough or scaly, Young shoots 3-dimensional, Buds not resinous, Leaves needle-like, Leaves alternate, Needle-like leaf margins finely serrulate (use magnification or slide your finger along the leaf), Leaf apex acute, Leaves < 5 cm long, Leaves > 5 cm long, Leaves < 10 cm long, Leaves blue-green, Needle-like leaves triangular, Needle-like leaves twisted, Needle-like leaf habit erect, Needle-like leaves per fascicle mostly 5, Needle-like leaf sheath early deciduous, Twigs pubescent, Twigs viscid, Twigs not viscid, Twigs without peg-like projections or large fascicles after needles fall, Berry-like cones orange, Woody seed cones > 5 cm long, Seed cones bearing a scarlike umbo, Umbo with missing or very weak prickle, Umbo with obvious prickle, Bracts of seed cone included, Seeds red, Seeds brown, Seeds winged, Seeds unequally winged, Seed wings prominent, Seed wings equal to or broader than body.
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Stephen C. Meyers

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Strobus monticola (Douglas ex D. Don) Rydberg
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Western white pine occurs on a wide variety of sites from peat bogs to dry sandy soils and rocky ground, however it grows best in moist valleys or on slopes at near sea level to mid-elevations in mountains.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Pinus monticola has its greatest extent in the cool maritime Pacific Northwest of the USA and Canada, its southward spread is limited to the western slopes of the high mountain ranges. In interior British Columbia it is restricted to the valleys and basins and does not ascend beyond 450 m a.s.l. while in the Sierra Nevada of California it climbs to beyond 3,000 m. In the interior and in the south, this species occurs on a diversity of soil types. Pinus monticola can form extensive pure stands, but old growth forests are usally mixed conifer forests with several other species. Depending on region and site conditions, the most common are Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus contorta, P. ponderosa, P. lambertiana, P. jeffreyi, Tsuga heterophylla, Larix occidentalis, Abies grandis, A. lasiocarpa, A. magnifica, A. concolor, A. procera, Thuja plicata, Calocedrus decurrens, Picea sitchensis, P. engelmannii, and Tsuga mertensiana. More local are Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Pinus balfouriana, P. flexilis, and P. albicaulis. Taxus brevifolia is an understorey conifer. Broad-leaved trees are less common and usually restricted to sites with better moisture and nutrient availability. These are some of the most diverse conifer forests in the world. Pinus monticola is an early seral species in this assembly and requires disturbance of the forest (by fire, storm or felling) to regenerate

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Central Pacific Coastal Forests Habitat

This taxon is found in the Central Pacific Coastal Forests ecoregion, as one of its North American ecoregions of occurrence. These mixed conifer rainforests stretch from stretch from southern Oregon in the USA to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, Canada. These forests are among the most productive in the world, characterized by large trees, substantial woody debris, luxuriant growths of mosses and lichens, and abundant ferns and herbs on the forest floor. The major forest complex consists of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), encompassing seral forests dominated by Douglas-fir and massive old-growth forests of Douglas-fir, Western hemlock, Western red cedar (Thuja plicata), and other species. These forests occur from sea level up to elevations of 700-1000 meters in the Coast Range and Olympic Mountains. Such forests occupy a gamut of environments with variable composition and structure and includes such other species as Grand fir (Abies grandis), Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), and Western white pine (Pinus monticola).

Characteristic mammalian fauna include Elk (Cervus elaphus), Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Coyote (Canis latrans), Black Bear (Ursus americanus), Mink (Mustela vison), and Raccoon (Procyon lotor).

The following anuran species occur in the Central Pacific coastal forests: Coastal tailed frog (Ascaphus truei); Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa VU); Northern red-legged frog (Rana pretiosa); Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla); Cascade frog (Rana cascadae NT), generally restricted to the Cascade Range from northern Washington to the California border; Foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii) and the Western toad (Anaxyrus boreas NT).  A newt found in the ecoregion is the Rough skinned newt (Taricha granulosa).

Salamanders within the ecoregion are: Del Norte salamander (Plethodon elongatus NT);  Van Dyke's salamander (Plethodon vandykei); Western redback salamander (Plethodon vehiculum); Northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile);  Olympic torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton olympicus VU), whose preferred habitat is along richly leafed stream edges; Long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum), whose adults are always subterranean except during the breeding season; Dunn's salamander (Plethodon dunni), usually found in seeps and stream splash zones; Clouded salamander (Aneides ferreus NT), an aggressive insectivore; Monterey ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii), usually found in thermally insulated micro-habitats such as under logs and rocks; Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), found in damp, dense forests near streams; and Cope's giant salamander (Dicamptodon copei), usually found in rapidly flowing waters on the Olympic Peninsula and Cascade Range.

There are a small number of reptilian taxa that are observed within this forested ecoregion, including: Pacific pond turtle (Emys marmorata); Common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis), an adaptable snake most often found near water; Northern alligator lizard (Elgaria coerulea); and the Western fence lizard.

Numerous avian species are found in the ecoregion, both resident and migratory. Example taxa occurring here are the Belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon); Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo); and the White-headed woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus) and the Trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator), the largest of the North American waterfowl.

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Habitat characteristics

Western white pine is restricted to climates characterized by dry
summers and a predominance of winter precipitation [72]. The most
extensive and best stands of western white pine are found in the river
bottoms and less steep lower slopes of the Priest, Coeur d'Alene, St.
Joe, and Clearwater River basins [72]. In British Columbia, western
white pine is a minor species on moderately dry to wet, nutrient-medium
to nutrient-rich sites in the maritime and submaritime climates [23].
Here, western white pine requires sites fairly rich in calcium and
magnesium [25]. However, in the coastal Northwest, western white pine
becomes abundant only on poor sites, where it can outcompete Douglas-fir
(Pseudotsuga menziesii) and other conifers. It does well on
unproductive, gravelly soils in the Puget Sound area and reportedly
thrives at the edges of bogs on the Olympic Peninsula [1].

Soils: Western white pine grows on a wide variety of soils within its
range, the majority of which have been classified as Spodosols [11].
Along the West Coast, it attains best development on deep, porous soils,
but it is most common on poor, sandy soils. In northern Idaho and other
inland sites, it is found on shallow to deep soils, with the surface
layers composed of loess or loessial-like material. Parent materials
include granite, shist, basalt, and sedimentary rocks. The pH ranges
from 4.5 to 6.8 with a mean of 5.4 [11].

Elevation and topography: Western white pine is generally a montane
species, but grows at a wide range of elevations [11,72]. Elevational
ranges vary as follows [11]:

Area Feet Meters

British Columbia 0 to 1,480 0 to 450
Vancover Island, BC 0 to 3,940 0 to 1,200
California 6,000 to 10,990 1,830 to 3350
Idaho 1,540 to 5,910 500 to 1,800
Montana 1,540 to 5,910 500 to 1,800
Oregon 6,000 to 7,020 1,830 to 2140
Washington 0 to 6,070 0 to 1,850

Associated species: In Washington, Oregon, and the Inland Empire,
western white pine grows in communities that are rich in other woody and
herbaceous flora, but in the Sierra Nevada associated vegetation is
usually sparse [11]. In addition to those previously listed under
Distribution and Occurrence, overstory associates include Pacific silver
fir (Abies anabilis), noble fir (A. concolor), whitebark pine (Pinus
albicaulis), foxtail pine (P. balfauriana), limber pine (P. flexilis),
sugar pine (P. lambertiana), Jeffrey pine (P. jeffreyi), quaking aspen
(Populus tremuloides), and paper birch (Betula papyrifera) [11].

Understory associates include Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia),
huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.), willow (Salix spp.), honeysuckle (Lonicera
spp.), currant, Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum), snowberry
(Symphoricarpus spp.), ocean-spray (Holodiscus discolor), serviceberry
(Amelanchier alnifolia), pachistima (Pachistima myrsinites), sedges
(Carex spp.), pinegrass (Calamagrostis rubescens), false-solomons-seal
(Smilacina), wild ginger (Asarum caudatum), and queencup beadlily [11].
  • 1. Arno, Stephen F.; Hammerly, Ramona P. 1977. Northwest trees. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers. 222 p. [4208]
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]
  • 23. Klinka, K.; Feller, M. C.; Green, R. N.; [and others]
  • 25. Krajina, V. J.; Klinka, K.; Worrall, J. 1982. Distribution and ecological characteristics of trees and shrubs of British Columbia. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia, Department of Botany and Faculty of Forestry. 131 p. [6728]
  • 72. Fowells, H. A., compiler. 1965. Silvics of forest trees of the United States. Agric. Handb. 271. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 762 p. [12442]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the term: phase

Western white pine is a seral species that is present in a number of
habitat types, associations, and communities throughout its range. In
northern Idaho and eastern Washington, it may dominate early
successional stages of the western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)/queencup
beadlily (Clintonia uniflora) and western redcedar (Thuga
plicata)/queencup beadlily habitat types [71]. It is also a major seral
species in the western hemlock/queencup beadlily habitat type in western
Monatana and is a major constituent of the western hemlock zone in the
Puget Sound area of Washington [11]. A western white pine riparian
dominance type has been described for northwestern Montana [14].
Associated species are those associated with the Aralia phase of the
subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa)/queencup beadlily habitat type [14].
Western white pine is moderately abundant, usually growing in small
groups and often interspersed with other species, in the subalpine
forest zone on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada [50].
  • 14. Hansen, Paul L.; Chadde, Steve W.; Pfister, Robert D. 1988. Riparian dominance types of Montana. Misc. Publ. No. 49. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, School of Forestry, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station. 411 p. [5660]
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]
  • 50. Rundel, Philip W.; Parsons, David J.; Gordon, Donald T. 1977. Montane and subalpine vegetation of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Ranges. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Major, Jack, eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley & Sons: 559-599. [4235]
  • 71. Cooper, Stephen V.; Neiman, Kenneth E.; Steele, Robert; Roberts, David W. 1987. Forest habitat types of northern Idaho: a second approximation. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-236. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 135 p. [867]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES22 Western white pine
FRES23 Fir - spruce
FRES24 Hemlock - Sitka spruce
FRES25 Larch
FRES26 Lodgepole pine

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Habitat: Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

205 Mountain hemlock
206 Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir
207 Red fir
210 Interior Douglas-fir
212 Western larch
213 Grand fir
215 Western white pine
218 Lodgepole pine
224 Western hemlock
226 Coastal true fir - hemlock
227 Western redcedar - western hemlock
228 Western redcedar
229 Pacific Douglas-fir
230 Douglas-fir - western hemlock
231 Port-Orford-cedar
237 Interior ponderosa pine
247 Jeffrey pine
256 California mixed subalpine

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

K001 Spruce - cedar - hemlock forest
K002 Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest
K003 Silver fir - Douglas-fir forest
K004 Fir - hemlock forest
K005 Mixed conifer forest
K007 Red fir forest
K012 Douglas-fir forest
K013 Cedar - hemlock - pine forest
K014 Grand fir - Douglas-fir forest

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Soils and Topography

A wide variety of soils support western white pine along the west coast  of Washington and Oregon (11). The species reaches its best development on  deep, porous soils but is most common on poor, sandy soils. The soils are  derived from a wide variety of parent material but are generally  moderately deep with medium acidity. Organic matter content is usually  moderate, and textures range from sandy loam to clay loam. The majority of  the soils in which western white pine grows have been classified as  Spodosols. In the Puget Sound area, extensive stands of western white pine  grow on soils originating from glacial drift.

    Soils of the Inland Empire western white pine region are very diverse.  Soil depths range from 25 cm (10 in) to over 230 cm (90 in) and have  developed from decomposed granite, schist, quartzite, argillite,  sandstone, and shale. Most often, the more rocky soils have developed from  basalt, glacial deposits, alluvial deposits, or lacustrine deposits (28).  In the Inland Empire, the upper soil layers that support western white  pine are composed of loess or loessial-like material. As along the west  coast, most of the soils that support western white pine in the Inland  Empire are Spodosols.

    The pH of soils supporting western white pine in the Inland Empire  ranges from 4.5 to 6.8 with a mean near 5.4 (6). The cation exchange  capacity of these soils ranges from 20.5 to 28.5 meq/100 g with a mean of  25.1 meq/100 g. Mean concentrations of potassium, calcium, and magnesium  are 0.5, 10.5, and 0.8 meq/100 g, respectively. Nitrogen content of soils  of the Inland Empire western white pine range varies from 0.14 percent to  0.48 percent with a mean of 0.25 percent.

    Western white pine grows at a wide range of elevations. In interior  British Columbia, it grows at elevations up to 450 m (1,480 ft), while on  Vancouver Island it is normally found at elevations up to 1200 m (3,940  ft) and has been found at elevations over 1500 m (4,920 ft). In western  Washington, western white pine is found growing at sea level (near Puget  Sound) and up to 910 m (2,980 ft) in elevation in the Cascades. Farther  south in the western Cascades, it grows between elevations of 600 and 1850  m (1,970 and 6,070 ft). On the eastern side of the Cascades, it is found  growing between elevations of 350 and 1450 m (1,150 and 4,760 ft). In the  Olympic Mountains, the species ranges from sea level to an elevation of  550 m (1,800 ft). In the Siskiyou Mountains, western white pine is found  at elevations from 1830 to 2140 m (6,000 to 7,020 ft). Farther south in  the Sierra Nevada, it usually grows at elevations from 1830 to 2300 m  (6,000 to 7,550 ft) with occasional trees at elevations of 3350 m (10,990  ft).

    In northern Idaho and contiguous parts of Washington, Montana, and  British Columbia, western white pine usually grows between 500 m (1,640  ft) and 1800 m (5,910 ft). Here the topography is usually steep and broken  with V-shaped and round-bottomed valleys. Western white pine can grow on a  variety of slopes and aspects but is most common along moist creek  bottoms, lower benches, and northerly slopes. The most extensive bodies of  western white pine are found in the wide river bottoms, less steep lower  slopes, and in the more gently rolling country of the Priest, Coeur  d'Alene, St. Joe, and Clearwater River basins (28).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Russell T. Graham

Source: Silvics of North America

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Climate

The portions of Vancouver Island, the Cascade Mountains, and the  Siskiyou Mountains that are within the range of western white pine have  cool maritime climates, with wet winters and dry summers. Precipitation  varies considerably throughout the region depending on elevation and  exposure. Variation with latitude from northern Oregon through British  Columbia is small, however (25). In general, precipitation on Vancouver  Island and in the Cascade Mountains averages from 1500 to 2010 mm (59 to  79 in) per year while precipitation in the Siskiyou Mountains averages  from 510 to 1520 mm (20 to 60 in) per year. The winter snow line varies  with latitude and averages 600 m (2,000 ft) elevation, with dense heavy  snowpacks common. Occasionally, vegetation and the forest floor are coated  with a layer of ice from glaze storms. Temperatures of the Vancouver  Island-Cascade Mountain portions of the western white pine range vary from  a low of -18° C (0° F) to a maximum of 38° C (100° F).  January is usually the coldest month in the region and July and August are  the warmest. Frost-free days range from 200 days in coastal areas to 90  days in the Cascades.

    In the Sierra Nevada where western white pine grows, the mean annual  precipitation varies from 760 to 1500 mm (30 to 59 in). Except for  occasional summer thunderstorms, this total falls entirely as snow. The  temperature of the area averages between -9° C (15° F) in  February to 27° C (80° F) in July and August, with maximum  temperature near 37° C (98° F) and a minimum temperature near  -32° C (-26° F). In the Sierra Nevada, frost-free days of the  western white pine range average between 90 and 180 days, but killing  frosts can occur at any time.

    The climate of the Inland Empire in the western white pine range is  influenced by the Pacific Ocean some 400 km (248 mi) to the west. The  summers are dry, the majority of the precipitation occurring during the  fall and winter. Precipitation averages between 710 and 1520 mm (28 and 60  in), distributed seasonally as follows: 35 percent, winter; 24 percent,  spring; 14 percent, summer; and 27 percent, fall (28). Snowfall averages  262 cm (103 in) but ranges from 122 cm (48 in) to 620 cm (244 in). Annual  temperatures in the inland range of western white pine average from 4°  to 10° C (40° to 50° F) with extremes of -40° and 42°  C (-40° and 107° F). The growing season for western white pine  in the Inland Empire is irregular depending on location and year but  averages between 60 and 160 days (28).

    The boundaries of the western white pine range in the Inland Empire are  limited at the lower elevations by deficient moisture and at the upper  elevations by cold temperatures. The southern boundary of the type in the  Inland Empire is not fixed by insufficient precipitation alone, but by a  balance of precipitation and evaporation (28).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Russell T. Graham

Source: Silvics of North America

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Habitat & Distribution

Montane moist forests, lowland fog forests; 0--3000m; Alta., B.C.; Calif., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Wash.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Associations

Foodplant / parasite
subcortical pycnium of Cronartium ribicola parasitises stem of Pinus monticola
Remarks: season: 3-6
Other: major host/prey

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Associated Forest Cover

Western white pine is represented in 18 forest cover types of western  North America and Canada. It is the key species in Western White Pine  (Society of American Foresters Type 215) (9). In this type, western white  pine constitutes a plurality of stocking, but many other species such as  grand fir (Abies grandis), subalpine fir (A. lasiocarpa), California  red fir (A. magnifica), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), ponderosa  pine (P. ponderosa), western larch (Larix occidentalis), western  redcedar (Thuja plicata), western hemlock (Tsuga  heterophylla), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Engelmann  spruce (Picea engelmannii), and mountain hemlock (Tsuga  mertensiana) may also be present. Most often the western white pine  component of Type 215 is even aged with an understory containing  multi-aged trees of the more shade-tolerant species such as western  hemlock and western redcedar. Occasionally, light overstory components of  more intolerant species, such as western larch and lodgepole pine, may  also be present.

    In the 17 other cover types, western white pine is a common component,  along with many other species, including Pacific silver fir (Abies  amabilis), white fir (A. concolor), noble fir (A.  procera), Port-Orford-cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), incense-cedar  (Libocedrus decurrens), Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), whitebark  pine (Pinus albicaulis), foxtail pine (P. balfouriana), limber  pine (P. flexilis), sugar pine (P. lambertiana), Jeffrey  pine (P. jeffreyi), Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia), Pacific  madrone (Arbutus menziesii), bigleaf maple (Acer  macrophyllum), red alder (Alnus rubra), quaking aspen (Populus  tremuloides), and paper birch (Betula papyrifera). These cover  types are as follows:

    205 Mountain Hemlock 
206 Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir 
207 Red Fir 
210 Interior Douglas-Fir 
212 Western Larch 
213 Grand Fir 
218 Lodgepole Pine 
224 Western Hemlock 
226 Coastal True Fir-Hemlock 
227 Western Redcedar-Western Hemlock 
228 Western Redcedar 
229 Pacific Douglas-Fir 
230 Douglas-Fir-Western Hemlock 
231 Port-Orford-Cedar 
237 Interior Ponderosa Pine 
247 Jeffrey Pine 
256 California Mixed Subalpine

    In northern Idaho and eastern Washington, the most important habitat  types in which western white pine grows are Tsuga heterophyllaClintonia uniflora, Thuja plicata / Clintonia uniflora, and Abies  grandis / Clintonia uniflora (6). Western white pine is a major seral  species in the Tsuga heterophylla / Clintonia uniflora habitat  type in western Montana and is also present in several others (21).  Western white pine is present in several vegetative associations,  communities, and zones in western Oregon and Washington but is a major  constituent only of the Tsuga heterophylla zone in the Puget Sound  area of Washington (5,11,14).

    Most of the habitat types, associations, and communities in Washington,  Oregon, and the Inland Empire where western white pine grows are  strikingly rich in other woody and herbaceous flora (5,6,11,14,21). In  contrast, in the Sierra Nevada the vegetation associated with western  white pine is characteristically sparse. Shrubs associated with western  white pine include huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.), willow (Salix  spp.), honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.), wintergreen (Gaultheria  spp.), azalea (Rhododendron spp.), prickly  currant (Ribes lacustre), sticky currant (R. viscosissimum),  Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum), Greenes mountain-ash (Sorbus  scopulina), princes-pine (Chimaphila umbellata), snowberry  (Symphoricarpos albus), whipplea (Whipplea modesta), ocean-spray  (Holodiscus discolor), serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia),  ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceus), rustyleaf menziesia (Menziesia  ferruginea), spirea (Spiraea betulifolia), pachistima (Pachistima  myrsinites), and twinflower (Linnaea borealis). Graminoids  frequently associated with western white pine include sedge (Carex  spp.), woodrush (Luzula spp.), Columbia brome (Bromus  vulgaris), pine grass (Calamagrostis rubescens), and nodding  trisetum (Trisetum cernuum). Forbs found growing with western  white pine include false solomons-seal (Smilacina spp.), twistedstalk  (Streptopus spp.), coolwort (Tiarella spp.),  violet (Viola spp.), wild ginger (Asarum  caudatum), queenscup (Clintonia uniflora), western goldthread  (Coptis occidentalis), bunchberry (Cornus canadensis),  sweetscented bedstraw (Galium triflorum), white trillium (Trillium  ovatum), and Brewers lupine (Lupinus breweri).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Russell T. Graham

Source: Silvics of North America

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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

At one time or another, fire has left its mark  on practically every part of the western white pine forest (28). Western  white pine depends on fire or timber harvesting to remove competing  conifers and allow it to become established as an early seral species. Its  relatively thin bark and moderately flammable foliage make it intermediate  in fire resistance among its conifer associates (20). As a result of fire  protection and the lack of major fires, plus blister rust infection, the  proportion of western white pine regeneration (planted and natural) in  northern Idaho, eastern Washington, and western Montana decreased from 44  percent in 1941 to 5 percent in 1979.

    Western white pine when dormant is tolerant of cold and along with  lodgepole pine is one of the more frost-tolerant northwestern species.  Needle desiccation can occur when cold, drying winds cause excessive loss  of moisture that cannot be replaced fast enough because of cold or frozen  soil or tree trunks. Also, western white pine is more tolerant of heat  than most of its more shade-tolerant associates.

    The species is sensitive to both sulfur dioxide and fluoride smelter  fumes, which cause the foliage to yellow and drop prematurely (15,20).  Depending on the site, western white pine is relatively windfirm, but  considerable damage can occur from windthrow. Snow often causes breakage  in young pole stands.

    Western white pine is beset by many serious diseases (15). By far the  most prominent disease of western white pine is blister rust. In northern  Idaho and contiguous parts of Montana and Washington, a combination of  climate, abundant alternate host plants (species of Ribes), and  susceptible pines contribute to heavy losses. But, through selection of  naturally rust resistant trees for seed sources for natural regeneration  and planting of rust resistant nursery stock, damage to western white pine  stands from blister rust in the future should be minimal. Other stem  diseases, such as dwarf mistletoe, Arceuthobium laricis, and A.  tsugense, occur on western white pine; however, they are of little  consequence.

    In prolonged periods of drought, pole blight, a physiological disorder,  can occur in stands of the 40- to 100-year class, causing yellow foliage  and dead resinous areas on the trunk. Later the top dies and, in a few  years, the tree. The disease does not appear to be caused by a primary  pathogen but results from rootlet deterioration in certain soils  restricting the uptake of water. The disease, a consequence of a drought  from 1916 to 1940 (19), caused serious mortality to western white pine  from 1935 to 1960. At present, the disease is not a major cause of  mortality in western white pine stands. In conjunction with pole blight  studies, root lesions caused by Leptographium spp. were isolated;  these could have a role in the decline caused by pole blight.

    A needle blight, caused by Lecanosticta spp., often leads to  shedding of foliage more than I year old. Another foliage disease that  attacks mainly the upper and middle crown is needle cast caused by Lophodermella  arcuata. Two other needle cast fungi, Bifusella linearis and  Lophodermium nitens, attack isolated trees.

    The foremost root disease of western white pine is Armillaria spp.causing fading foliage, growth reduction, root-collar exudation of  resin, dead and rotten roots, and black rhizomorphs. Heterobasidion  annosum and Phellinus weiri also cause some mortality of  individuals and groups. The most important butt-rot fungi are Phellinus  pini, Heterobasidion annosum, and Phaeolus schweinitzii. Many  other fungi are capable of causing decay in injured or overmature trees,  and rot often becomes excessive in trees over 120 years of age.

    The bark beetles are the most important group of insects that attack  western white pine. The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosaekills groups of trees, primarily in mature forests. Trees weakened by  blister rust are often attacked by the mountain pine beetle. Likewise,  weakened trees are sometimes attacked by the red turpentine beetle (Dendroctonus  valens). Usually, this beetle is not aggressive and does not become  epidemic, but through repeated attacks it can kill trees. More often, it  just weakens them, leading to fatal attack by other bark beetles (12).

    Attack of western white pine by mountain pine beetle sometimes results  in attack on the bole by emarginate ips (Ips emarginatus). Likewise,  the ips beetle (Ips montanus) attacks weakened western white pine,  its principal host, in association with other bark beetles. The Pityogenes  fossifrons beetle breeds principally in western white pine, but its  attacks are seldom primary. The beetle is capable, however, of attacking  western white pine reproduction. Many other bark beetles and insects  attack western white pine, but, for the most part, they do not cause  extensive damage.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Russell T. Graham

Source: Silvics of North America

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: prescribed fire, wildfire

Western white pine is a fire-dependent, seral species. Fire supression
and white pine blister rust have decreased western white pine stocking
from 44 percent in 1941 to 5 percent in 1979 [11]. Periodic,
stand-replacing fire or other disturbance is needed to remove competing
conifers and allow western white pine to develop in early seres
[5,8,11,67].

Slash burning: Dry sites in the western white pine forest type respond
poorly to slash burning, while moist sites respond favorably [24].
Stark [57] provides information on how to estimate nutrient losses from
the harvest and slash burning of a western white pine stand. The use of
chemical retardent around leave trees in selective cuts has been found
to be effective in reducing cambium damage when slash concentrations are
light or moderate [51].

For effective fire hazard abatement the recommended Federal slash hazard
index is 11 when planning a prescribed fire in western white pine slash.
An index of less than 9 will provide little reduction, and greater than
12 generates risk of fire escape [39]. Reinhardt and others [49]
provide information on prescribed fire, slash disposal, duff
consumption, and management considerations after harvest in western
white pine stands in northern Idaho.

Wildlife: Prescribed fire has been recommended in western white pine
stands to maintain areas of abundant browse for elk [31].

Other: After wildfire it is recommended that salvage operations begin
within the first 2 years [46]. Peterson and Ryan [42] have developed a
model based on site, fire, and silvicultural information to predict
conifer mortality after wildfire for long-term planning.
  • 24. Klinka, K.; Green, R. N.; Courtin, P. J.; Nuszdorfer, F. C. 1984. Site diagnosis, tree species selection, and slashburning guidelines for the Vancouver Forest Region, British Columbia. Land Management Report No. 25. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Forests, Information Services Branch. 180 p. [15448]
  • 8. Fischer, William C.; Bradley, Anne F. 1987. Fire ecology of western Montana forest habitat types. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-223. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 95 p. [633]
  • 5. Davis, Kathleen M.; Clayton, Bruce D.; Fischer, William C. 1980. Fire ecology of Lolo National Forest habitat types. INT-79. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 77 p. [5296]
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]
  • 31. Leege, Thomas A. 1968. Prescribed burning for elk in northern Idaho. In: Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1968 March 14-15; Tallahassee, FL. No 8. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 235-253. [5287]
  • 39. Muraro, S. J. 1968. Prescribed fire--evaluation of hazard abatement. Departmental Publ. No. 1231. Ottawa, ON: Department of Forestry and Rural Development, Forestry Branch. 28 p. [13431]
  • 42. Peterson, David L.; Ryan, Kevin C. 1986. Modeling postfire conifer mortality for long-range planning. Environmental Management. 10(6): 797-808. [6638]
  • 46. Rapraeger, E. F. 1936. Effect of repeated ground fires upon stumpage returns in western white pine. Journal of Forestry. 34: 715-718. [16744]
  • 49. Reinhardt, Elizabeth D.; Brown, James K.; Fischer, William C.; Graham, Russell T. 1991. Woody fuel and duff consumption by prescribed fire in northern Idaho mixed conifer logging slash. Res. Pap. INT-443. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 22 p. [15927]
  • 51. Ryan, K. C.; Steele, B. M. 1989. Cambium mortality resulting from broadcast burning in mixed conifer shelterwoods. In: MacIver, D. C.; Auld, H.; Whitewood, R., eds. Proceedings of the 10th conference on fire and forest meteorology; 1989 April 17-21; Ottawa, ON. [Place of publication unkown]
  • 57. Stark, N. 1983. The nutrient content of Rocky Mountain vegetation: a handbook for estimating nutrients lost through harvest and burning. Misc. Publ. 14. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, School of Forestry, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station. 81 p. [8617]
  • 67. Wellner, Charles A. 1970. Fire history in the northern Rocky Mountains. In: The role of fire in the Intermountain West: Symposium proceedings; 1970 October 27-29; Missoula, MT. Missoula, MT: Intermountain Fire Research Council. In cooperation with: University of Montana, School of Forestry: 42-64. [10548]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: duff, stand-replacing fire

After a stand-replacing fire, western white pine will seed in from
adjacent areas [17]. After a cool to moderate fire that leaves a mosaic
of mineral soil and duff, western white pine will reoccupy the site from
seed stored in the seed bank [29].
  • 17. Huberman, M. A. 1935. The role of western white pine in forest succession in northern Idaho. Ecology. 16(2): 137-151. [12447]
  • 29. Larsen, J. A. 1925. Natural reproduction after forest fires in northern Idaho. Journal of Agricultural Research. 30(12): 1177-1197. [13193]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the term: tree

Fire of any intensity will damage the cambium layer of young trees,
usually resulting in death of the tree [12].

In a mature western white pine stand, a cool fire will kill scattered
trees, while only scarring others. However,the fire scars provide a
vector for butt rots to enter the tree [46]. Moderate to severe fire in
a mature western white pine stand results in cambium damage and
crowning, which usually results in the death of the tree [56].

The large amount of humus in western white pine forests renders the
trees susceptible to death from heating of the roots [12].
  • 12. Habeck, James R. 1972. Fire ecology investigations in Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, historical considerations and current observations. Contract No. 26-2647, Publication No. R1-72-001. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, Department of Botany. 119 p. [7848]
  • 46. Rapraeger, E. F. 1936. Effect of repeated ground fires upon stumpage returns in western white pine. Journal of Forestry. 34: 715-718. [16744]
  • 56. Spalt, Karl W.; Reifsnyder, William E. 1962. Bark characteristics and fire resistance: a literature survey. Occas. Paper 193. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 19 p. In cooperation with: Yale University, School of Forestry. [266]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: root crown, secondary colonizer

Tree without adventitious-bud root crown
Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)
Secondary colonizer - on-site seed
Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

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Fire Ecology

More info for the term: resistance

Mature western white pine, with its moderately thick bark (1.5 inches [3
cm]), moderately flammable foliage, height, and evanescent lower limbs,
is rated moderate in fire resistance [5,11,56]. However, dense stands,
lichen growth, and resinous bark can decrease western white pine's
resistance to fire [5].

Young trees with their thin bark are very susceptible to lethal damage
by fire [12].
  • 5. Davis, Kathleen M.; Clayton, Bruce D.; Fischer, William C. 1980. Fire ecology of Lolo National Forest habitat types. INT-79. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 77 p. [5296]
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]
  • 12. Habeck, James R. 1972. Fire ecology investigations in Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, historical considerations and current observations. Contract No. 26-2647, Publication No. R1-72-001. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, Department of Botany. 119 p. [7848]
  • 56. Spalt, Karl W.; Reifsnyder, William E. 1962. Bark characteristics and fire resistance: a literature survey. Occas. Paper 193. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 19 p. In cooperation with: Yale University, School of Forestry. [266]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: duff, epigeal, layering, tree

Western white pine can begin producing strobili at 7 years of age [11],
but production can be limited by moisture stress and timing. Moisture
stress in the early summer of the year strobili mature leads to
abortion, while moisture stress in the early summer of the first and
second years prior to strobili emergence causes an increase in the
number of strobili. Moisture stress in the late summer prior to
strobili emergence causes a decrease in strobili numbers [47].

A good crop of female strobili is about 40 per tree [1]. During fair to
poor crop years cone beetles (Conophthorus spp.), cone moths (Dioryctria
abietivorella and Eucosma rescissorianna), red squirrels, and deer mice
can cause partial or complete crop failures [11].

Seed production requires 3 years from the onset of bud initiation. Good
seed crops occur every 3 to 4 years. The mean number of seeds per pound
is 27,000 (59,000/kg). The seed can be dispersed by wind up to 2,620
feet (800 m) from the parent tree. Seeds remain viable in the duff for
up to 4 years, but the germination rate decreases. After 2 years the
rate is 25 percent, and after 4 years the rate is 1 percent. Western
white pine's seed requires cold moist stratification of 30 to 120 days
to germinate; germination is epigeal [11]. Moisture and soil
temperature are believed to control the onset of germination. The
perferred germination substrate is mineral soil, but seeds will also
germinate in duff [8,11].

Seedling mortality is quite high in the first year due to snow mold
(Neopeckia coulteri), rodents, late season drought, and elevated soil
temperatures on dry sites [11]. On dry sites seedling establishment is
favored by partial shade, while on moist sites full sunlight favors
establishment [11,15].

Vegetative reproduction: Western white pine does not naturally
reproduce by sprouting or layering. However, cuttings from young trees
treated with rooting hormones (indolebutyric acid) have rooted with fair
success [11]. Williams [69] describes the process and considerations
for rooting cuttings from older trees (25 years). He obtained a mean
success rate of 37 percent.
  • 8. Fischer, William C.; Bradley, Anne F. 1987. Fire ecology of western Montana forest habitat types. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-223. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 95 p. [633]
  • 1. Arno, Stephen F.; Hammerly, Ramona P. 1977. Northwest trees. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers. 222 p. [4208]
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]
  • 15. Helgerson, Ole T. 1990. Heat damage in tree seedlings and its prevention. New Forests. 3: 333-358. [14771]
  • 47. Rehfeldt, G. E.; Stage, A. R.; Bingham, R. T. 1971. Strobili development in western white pine: periodicity, prediction, and assoication with weather. Forest Science. 17(4): 454-461. [12901]
  • 69. Williams, F. 1987. Propagation of mature western white pine (Pinus monticola dougl.) by cuttings. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 17: 349-352. [12289]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

Phanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

Obligate Initial Community Species
Facultative Seral Species

Western white pine is classified as shade intolerant to very intolerant
[24]. It is usually seral to fir (Abies spp.), spruce (Picea spp.), or
hemlock (Tsuga spp.) [5,9]. Stickney [59] classified western white pine
as a colonizer.

Western white pine does not respond favorably after release from 30 to
60 years of suppression [5,6].
  • 24. Klinka, K.; Green, R. N.; Courtin, P. J.; Nuszdorfer, F. C. 1984. Site diagnosis, tree species selection, and slashburning guidelines for the Vancouver Forest Region, British Columbia. Land Management Report No. 25. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Forests, Information Services Branch. 180 p. [15448]
  • 5. Davis, Kathleen M.; Clayton, Bruce D.; Fischer, William C. 1980. Fire ecology of Lolo National Forest habitat types. INT-79. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 77 p. [5296]
  • 6. Deitschman, Glen H.; Pfister, Robert D. 1973. Growth of released and unreleased young stands in the western white pine type. Res. Pap. INT-132. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 14 p. [12877]
  • 9. Franklin, Jerry F.; Hemstrom, Miles A. 1981. Aspects of succession in the coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. In: Forest succession: concepts and application. New York: Springer-Verlag: 212-229. [7931]
  • 59. Stickney, Peter F. 1985. Data base for early postfire succession on the Sundance Burn, northern Idaho. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-189. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 121 p. [7223]

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Reaction to Competition

Western white pine is almost always a  seral species. It is classed as intermediate in shade tolerance when  compared to other northwestern tree species. The species attains a  dominant position in the stand only following wildfires, even-aged  silvicultural systems, or through cultural stand treatments favoring the  species.

    Western white pine can be regenerated using even-aged silvicultural  systems. On favorable sites, clearcut, seed-tree, and shelterwood systems  result in adequate and diverse natural regeneration within 5 to 10 years  after the regeneration cut. If a natural blister rust-resistant seed  source is not present on the site, planting can be used to regenerate the  stands.

    Western white pine seedlings are well suited for planting. Both  bare-root and container-grown western white pine seedlings have excellent  survival and growth when properly planted on appropriate sites. Bare-root  stock has better survival with spring planting, but containerized stock  appears to have excellent survival when planted during either season.

    When natural regeneration and the clearcut system are used for  establishing conifer mixtures that include western white pine, it is not  uncommon to regenerate 11,000 trees per hectare (4,451/acre), of which  1,000/ha (405/acre) are western white pine (4). Similarly, seed-tree cuts  can produce 12,000 trees per hectare (4,856/acre) of which 1,500/ha  (607/acre) are western white pine. Shelterwood systems produce more trees,  but the proportion that are western white pine is less than for other  systems. On southerly aspects, regardless of the cutting system, less  regeneration occurs.

    The individual tree selection system cannot be used to manage western  white pine successfully because it tends to favor the more shade-tolerant  species, such as western redcedar and western hemlock, but group selection  may have limited application.

    Where reproduction has become established under partial cuttings, the  density of overstory and time until removal greatly affect development.  Western white pine growth can be inhibited even by the shade of a light  shelterwood. Sixteen-year-old western white pine growing under an overwood  density of 6 m²/ha (27 ft²/acre) were 2.0 m (6.6 ft) tall  compared to trees 0.5 m (1.6 ft) tall growing under an overwood density of  21 m²/ha (91 ft²/acre) (28).

    The composition of a western white pine stand is determined during the  first 30 years of the stand's life (13). Lodgepole pine and western larch  can grow one and one-half times as fast in height as western white pine  during this period. Western larch can usually maintain its superiority in  height growth through maturity, but lodgepole pine's growth superiority  seldom lasts past age 50. Similarly, grand fir can equal western white  pine height growth for the first 30 years and Douglas-fir is about equal  in height growth. On northerly aspects and in shaded conditions, western  hemlock height growth can equal that of western white pine (8).

    Dominant western white pine over age 30 responds to release, but not  aggressively. In the Inland Empire, in 55- to 65-year-old stands, half of  the basal area must be removed to gain lasting improvement (10). The  effectiveness of light to moderate thinnings in 55- to 65-year-old stands  of western white pine is short-lived. Therefore, during the first 30  years, species composition is relatively plastic and can be modified  materially by changing the density of residual overwood and by weeding or  thinning. Beyond age 30, treatments are less effective and must be drastic  to be long lasting.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Russell T. Graham

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Rooting Habit

The extent of western white pine's root system  and the density of its rootlets depend on external conditions (18).  Approximately 65 percent of the total root system, exclusive of the  central vertical system, occurs in the uppermost 30 cm (12 in) of soil.  Mature western white pine systems can spread 8 m (26 ft) laterally from  the root collar with verticals descending off the lateral system, as well  as in a concentration beneath the root collar. The root systems are  tolerant of dense soils and have moderate growth rates. Western white pine  trees have approximately 75 percent of their absorbing surface in the  upper 60 cm (24 in) of the soil (28). Fine root development of western  white pine is favored where vegetative competition is low and available  moisture is high.

    The fungi that have been reported to form mycorrhizae with western white  pine are Suillus granulatus, S. subaureus, S. subluteus, Boletellus  zelleri, Cenococcum graniforme, Gomphidius ochraceus, G. rutilus, Russula  delica, R. xerampelina, and Tricholoma flavovirens.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Height and diameter growth starts from May to late June depending on
elevation, aspect, and latitude [11].

Strobili buds emerge in June. The buds are differentiated in July and
August of the year preceding emergence. Pollen dispersal lasts for a
mean of 8.5 days and usually starts the last week in June. Time of
flowering varies over a period of 20 days and is strongly controlled by
temperatures during the preceding weeks. It is delayed for 5 days for
every 1,000 feet (300 m) gain in elevation, and 6 days per degree
Fahrenheit below normal temperatures for May and June. The female
strobili ripen from August to September of the second year after bud
emergence [11].

The mean phenological development dates for western white pine in
northern Idaho were as follows [53]:

Bark Shoots Buds Pollen Pollen Shoots Winter Cones Cones
Slips Open Burst Starts Ends End Buds Full Open
Formed Size

Apr 28 May 6 May 21 Jun 11 Jun 28 Aug 11 Aug 13 Aug 1 Sep 8
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]
  • 53. Schmidt, Wyman C.; Lotan, James E. 1980. Phenology of common forest flora of the northern Rockies--1928 to 1937. Res. Pap. INT-259. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 20 p. [2082]

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Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Western white pine does not naturally  reproduce by sprouting or layering. Cuttings from trees more than 4 to 5  years old are difficult to root (3), although cuttings from 3-year-old  seedlings have been rooted with fair success using rooting hormones.  Needle bundles from 2-year-old seedlings have produced roots and some have  produced shoots successfully.

    Western white pine is relatively easy to propagate by grafting at all  ages (3). Several types of grafts have been used; early spring grafting  before flushing has been most successful. Also, scions, taken from a  variety of places in the tree crown, graft with equal success. Grafting  conducted under greenhouse conditions is more successful than field  grafting. Interspecies grafting on other five-needle rootstocks, such as  eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), sugar pine (P.  lambertiana), and blue pine (P. griffithii), has been  generally successful. Grafting of western white pine on species other than  the five-needle white pines has not been accomplished.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seedling Development

Western white pine seed requires 30 to 120  days of cold, moist conditions before germination commences (17). Seed  dormancy appears to be controlled by the seed coat, papery seed membrane,  and physiological elements of the embryo, gametophyte, or both (16). There  is a strong genetic component to seed germination with high family  heritability. Both fresh seed and stored seed require cold stratification  temperatures of 1° C (33° F) to 5° C (41° F) to break  dormancy. Germination is epigeal. The seeds of western white pine usually  germinate in the spring in soil that was wet to field capacity by melting  snow. In the Inland Empire, seed germination at lower elevations begins in  late April. At higher elevations and on protected sites, germination may  be delayed until early June. Germination can continue on exposed sites  until July 1 and on protected sites until August 15. Under full sun,  germination begins much earlier and ends much earlier than in partial or  fully shaded conditions. Soil temperatures probably control the beginning  of germination, and drying out of the topsoil or duff probably stops  germination (28). Light appears to have little importance in natural  germination of western white pine seed. Mineral surfaces are better  germination media than duff even though duff may contain many stored  seeds.

    During the first growing season, a high percentage of seedlings die,  principally because of diseases, but insects, rodents, and birds cause  serious seedling losses. Fusarium, cause of a damping-off disease,  and Neopeckia coulteri, a snow mold, can cause extensive seedling  mortality during the first year (15). Seedlings up to 5 years old are  often killed by Rhizina undulata, a root rot, in patches 0.5 m  (1.6 ft) to 1.5 m (5 ft) in diameter. Seedling mortality late in the first  growing season is due primarily to temperature and drought. High surface  temperature is the most important cause of mortality on exposed sites, and  drought is a factor on heavily shaded areas where root penetration is slow  and unable to keep pace with receding soil moisture. For the most part,  western white pine seedlings have low drought tolerance (20).

    All factors considered, western white pine seedling establishment is  favored by partial shade on severe to moderately severe sites. On the more  sheltered sites, such as north slopes, little or no shade is best for  seedling establishment (28). Once established, western white pine grows  best in full sunlight on all sites.

    Early root and shoot growth of western white pine seedlings usually is  not rapid. The first summer, the primary root grows about 15 cm (6 in) to  30 cm (12 in) in open situations, between 13 cm (5 in) and 23 cm (9 in)  under partial shade, and only 5 cm (2 in) to 8 cm (3 in) under full shade.  Seedlings planted in soils rich in nutrients, high in organic matter, and  with low bulk densities can have first-year root elongation up to 50 cm  (20 in). Seedlings usually average between 3 cm (1 in) and 5 cm (2 in) in  height by the end of the first growing season. In the Inland Empire,  open-grown western white pine seedlings require about 8 years to reach a  height of 1.4 m (4.5 ft) (28). Similarly, 20-year-old western white pine  grow about 81 cm (32 in) to 99 cm (39 in) per year on good sites and about  23 cm (9 in) to 46 cm (18 in) on poor sites.

    Both height growth and diameter growth of western white pine in the  Inland Empire usually begin about the first week of May but may begin as  early as April 5 and as late as June 25 depending on elevation, latitude,  and aspect (24). Also, in the Inland Empire, leaf buds usually open near  May 21 but may open as early as March 27 and as late as June 21. Here,  shoot growth usually ends by August 11; reported dates for shoot growth  cessation are as early as June 9 and as late as October 21. Winter buds  can be formed as early as June 14 and as late as September 30 but are  usually formed by August 13. In the Inland Empire, diameter growth  normally ceases by the end of August. Old needles usually turn straw  yellow between the middle of August and the first week of September and  drop soon thereafter. Total needle fall of western white pine is moderate  when compared to associated species (20), with needle retention of 3 to 4  years.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seed Production and Dissemination

Cones of western white pine  become ripe during August and September of the second year after the  strobilus buds are initiated. Color of ripe cones ranges from yellowish or  beige-brown through reddish brown and dark brown (17). Western white pine  cones are about 20 cm to 25 cm (7.9 to 9.8 in) long; cones as short as 5  cm (2.0 in) and as long as 36 cm (14.2 in) have been reported. Over 18  years, 380 western white pine from 25 to 70 years old in the Inland Empire  produced from 2 seeds to more than 300 seeds per cone, with a mean  production of 226 (2).

    Western white pines can begin cone production as early as age 7 and  become more prolific with age. Not until trees are about age 70 does cone  production become both frequent and abundant. It continues to increase  with age until trees are about 50 cm (19.7 in) in diameter. After that,  seed production depends on individual tree vigor and character of crown or  possibly on heritable capacity to set and bear cones (298).

    Seed yields for western white pine range from 30,900 to 70,500/kg  (14,000 to 32,000/lb) with an average of 59,000/kg (27,000/lb) (17). In  the Inland Empire, seed production varies from 41,000 to 457,000/ha  (16,600 to 185,000/acre), with average annual seed yields for a  75-year-old stand and an over-mature stand of 8,600/ha (3,500/acre) and  99,000/ha (40,100/acre), respectively.

    Several cone and seed insects and rodents can cause partial to almost  complete failures of cone crops in otherwise poor to fair crop years. The  cone beetles, Conophthorus monticolae and C. lambertianaeand cone moths, Dioryctria abietivorella and Eucosma  rescissoriana, cause serious seed losses some years (12). Western  white pine seeds are also a favorite food of red squirrels and the deer  mouse.

    In the Inland Empire, seed dissemination of western white pine begins in  early fall; 15 percent of the current crop reaches the ground before  September 1, about 85 percent by the end of October, and 15 percent during  the late fall and winter (28). Seeds are usually disseminated by wind, but  squirrels, mice, and various birds contribute to seed dissemination. Most  seeds fall within 120 m (390 ft) of the parent tree, but they have been  known to travel over 800 m (2,620 ft) from it (28).

    Western white pine seeds remain viable after overwinter storage in duff  on the forest floor. Seeds have shown 40 percent viability after one  winter's storage, and 25 percent viability after two winters' storage; and  less than 1 percent after 3 and 4 years' storage. Western white pine seeds  properly stored under artificial conditions of seed moisture content of 5  to 10 percent and temperatures of -18° C (0° F) to -15° C  (5° F) remain viable for 20 years (17).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Flowering and Fruiting

Western white pine is monoecious. Three  complete growing seasons are required for seed to mature. Strobilus buds  are differentiated during July and August of the growing season before  their appearance in June the following spring (28). In northern Idaho, the  oval staminate strobili are about 10 cm (4 in) long, borne in clusters of  15 to 25 on branches of the middle crown, and are distinguishable about  June 1 (28); whereas, in the Sierra Nevada of California, the staminate  strobili appear near the first of July. Pollen dissemination in the Inland  Empire usually begins during the last week of June and can continue to the  middle of July but usually averages 8.5 days.

    The greenish-yellow to bright pink ovulate strobili are borne on stalks  at tips of the upper branches, and in the Inland Empire become visible  about mid-June of the growing season following initiation of the  primordia. The erect conelets are from 1.5 cm to 4.0 cm (0.6 to 1.6 in)  long at time of pollen dissemination , and they grow to 2.5 cm to 5.0 cm  (1.0 to 2.0 in) long by the end of the first growing season (28).

    Time of anthesis may vary over a period of 20 days and is rigidly  controlled by temperatures during the weeks immediately preceding  anthesis. Anthesis is delayed about 5 days per 300 m (980 ft) increase in  elevation, and about 6 days per degree Fahrenheit below normal  temperatures for May and June (28). In the Inland Empire, good strobilus  crops in western white pine occur every 3 to 4 years, the major cycle  being 4 years. Warm, dry "stress" periods, during the early  summer of the 2 years before strobilus emergence, favor strobilus  production. In contrast, stresses in the late summer of the year prior to  emergence or during the period of emergence depress strobilus production.  Within individual trees and within localities, maxima pollen shedding and  ovulate anthesis practically coincide. No phenological barriers to either  selfing or crossing appear to exist, but most western white pine show a  moderate to strong discrimination against self-pollination. Western white  pine seedlings that result from self-pollination are typically slower  growing than seedlings resulting from cross-pollination (3).

    Western white pine is predominantly female from first strobilus  production at age 7 through age 20 (3). Cultural treatments, such as  watering, fertilizing, and cultivating, usually have little effect on this  characteristic, but thinning and fertilizing 40-year-old western white  pine with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium has increased it (1).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Growth

Growth and Yield

Western white pine trees most often have clean  boles with minimum taper and narrow crowns. In the absence of western  white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), the species is long  lived; trees are commonly 300 to 400 years old and rarely, up to 500 years  old. Overmature trees are often more than 180 cm (71 in) in d.b.h. and 60  m (197 ft) tall.

    Tables 1 and 2 show the sizes, net volume, basal areas, and growth rates  for western white pine in fully stocked stands in the Inland Empire.  Although blister rust modifies stand development, in the absence of the  rust, stands develop as shown.

    Table 1- Average size and volume of dominant and  codominant western white pine growing in fully stocked stands in the  Inland Empire            Site index at base age  50 years              Item  12.2 m or 40 ft  18.3 m or 60 ft  24.4 m or 80 ft            Dominants and codominants            D.b.h., cm  29.5  41.9  56.9      Height, m  26.8  40.2  53.3      Volume, m³    0.8    2.2    4.9      Cubic volume,¹ m³/ha  699       976       1,267              Basal area, m²/ha  70     72     74         Dominants and codominants            D.b.h., in       11.6         16.5         22.4      Height, ft       88.0       132.0       175.0      Volume, ft³       27.5         77.0       171.6      Cubic volume, ft³/acre  9,980     13,950     18,100         Basal area,¹ ft²/acre  306     314     322      ¹In trees 0.2 cm  (0.6 in) and larger in d.b.h.              Table 2- Mean annual increment of fully stocked stands  of western white pine in the Inland Empire            Site index at base age  50 years              Age  12.2 m or 40 ft  18.3 m or 60 ft  24.4 m or 80 ft            yr  m³/ha        20  0.84  1.40    1.89        40  3.29  4.62    5.95        60  4.90  6.86    8.89        80  5.67  7.84  10.29      100  5.88  8.26  10.78      120  5.81  8.12  10.57      140  5.53  7.70    9.94      yr  fbm/acre¹        20  12    20    27        40  47    66    85        60  70    98  127        80  81  112  147      100  84  118  154      120  83  116  151      140  79  110  142      ¹In trees 0.2 cm  (0.6 in) and larger in d.b.h.
  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

Population Differences    Western white pine is different in genetic variation from most other  conifers that have been intensively studied (26). Within northern Idaho,  western white pine genetic variation is high, and most of this variation  is among trees within a stand. Differences among stands and elevational  zones occur, but the proportion of the variance attributable to these  sources is usually smaller than that for trees within stands. Evidence  indicates little geographic or ecologic differentiation of populations for  western white pine. The adaptation of western white pine to different  geographic, climatic, topographic, and edaphic conditions is governed more  by phenotypic plasticity than by selective differentiation (22). Also, it  appears that there is little difference among populations from coastal  Washington and western British Columbia and northern Idaho populations  (27). There appear to be genetic differences, however, between California  populations and Idaho populations (23). Because of the small genetic  variation detected in populations of western white pine in northern Idaho,  seeds can be transferred without regard to elevation, latitude, longitude,  or habitat type.

    Races    Several single recessive genes are recognized in western white pine (3).  Albino genes, chlorophyll deficient genes, a curly foliage gene, and a  dwarfing gene have been found. Monoterpenes also appear to be under strong  genetic control. Height growth gains of 4 to 12 percent are possible  according to estimates from progeny testing and selections.

    Work on inheritance of blister rust resistance in western white pine  began in 1950. This early work indicated considerable heritability of  blister rust resistance. Most foliar resistance is governed by genes  reducing the frequency of secondary needle infections and causing slow  fungus growth in secondary needles (3). In the stem, genetic resistance is  governed primarily by genes controlling a fungicidal reaction and causing  slow growth of the fungus. Other resistance mechanisms include lowered  frequency of needle lesions, premature shedding of needles, and fungicidal  reaction in the short shoot. Nursery and field tests of rust resistant  seedlings after two cycles of selections indicate rust resistance of 66  and 88 percent, respectively.

    Hybrids    Western white pine can be easily crossed with other five-needle white  pines (3). It hybridizes successfully with Balkan pine (Pinus peuce),  blue pine (P. griffithii), eastern white pine (P.  strobus), Japanese white pine (P. parviflora), southwestern  white pine (P. strobiformis), and limber pine (P. flexilis).  Hybridization with Swiss stone pine (P. cembra), Korean pine  (P. koraiensis), and whitebark pine (P. albicaulis) has  not been as successful.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Pinus monticola

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pinus monticola

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Farjon, A.

Reviewer/s
Thomas, P. & Stritch, L.

Contributor/s

Justification

Pinus monticola has a very large extent of occurrence and also a very substantial area of occupancy, both beyond the thresholds for a threatened category. Decline overall is difficult to estimate, but there are estimates of substantial reductions in regeneration in at least one major area (from 44% to 5% between 1941 and 1979) due to competition and pine blister rust. Suppression of fires in the forests is still ongoing, although in national parks and wilderness reserves this is no longer a priority in managing these forests. On the other hand, clear-cutting can benefit regeneration of this species, so it may have increased especially in cut-over areas in British Columbia and elsewhere. This means that the population reduction is likely to be below the threshold for listing as Vulnerable under criterion A4ce, if indeed there is an overall reduction, partly in the past, and projected into the future. The species is therefore listed as Near Threatened.

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Although still considered a fairly common species in many areas of its range, populations of western white pine are affected by white pine blister rust, different species of bark beetles, and susceptible to pole blight from extreme weather conditions. Population declines have been noted since early in the century with a massive dieback in the Pacific region in 1935-1936 triggered by highly anomalous winter weather (Auclair et al 1990). Continuing threats of disease and extremes of climate are still affecting populations, however breeding programs have produced strains that are 65% resistant to white pine blister rust (Griffth 1992). Others consider populations will continue to decline as blister rust infection spreads and intensifies (Tomback 2001).

Environmental Specificity: Broad. Generalist or community with all key requirements common.

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Population

Population
The overall population trend is thought to be decreasing due the effects of logging, fire suppression, a lack of regeneration and pine blister rust.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
There are estimates of substantial reductions in regeneration in at least one major area (from 44% to 5% between 1941 and 1979) due to competition and Pine Blister Rust. Suppression of fires in the forests may also be a threat to regeneration. In places over-harvesting may also be a threat, although the species generally responds well to clear-felling practices with good regeneration.
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Degree of Threat: High

Comments: Although western white pine is a fire-adapted early seral species, trees are susceptible to fire which can damage the cambium layer. This usually results in the death of young trees and the creation of fire scars in older trees. Fire scars can provide an opening for disease, such as butt-rot fungi, to infect a tree. However, fire also removes the humus layer, preparing a favourable seedbed and eliminates competing plants. Large amounts of humus also can cause tree death from heating of the roots (Griffith 1992). White pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium spp.) and various species of bark beetles also are serious threats affecting populations. Pole blight, a xylem dysfunctional condition related to extreme climatic variation, results in massive cavitation, yellow foliage, crown dieback and the death of many trees. One critical factor with this specific condition was untimely soil frost and winter thaw-freeze cycles, whereas air pollution was determined not to relate to tree dieback for Pinus monticola (Auclair et al. 1990). Weather extremes with climate change may increase the occurrence of this condition in this species.

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Management of forest fires closer to a natural cycle than was done in the past should be considered and planned for major stands with this species.
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Biological Research Needs: Continued research for trees resistant to the white pine blister rust infection and the condition of pole blight caused by extreme climate events.

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Management considerations

More info for the terms: density, natural, selection, tree

White pine blister rust: The most serious damaging agent of western
white pine is white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) [1,11,23].
This rust was introduced into this country at the turn of the century
from infected seedlings that had been imported from nurseries in France
[1]. White pine blister rust has a life cycle requiring alternate hosts
for its completion: five-needled pines and currants (Ribes spp.). The
rust produces spores on currants that infect white pines. These spores
can be dispersed by wind [28] up to 10 miles (17 km) [1]. The spores
germinate on the needles, and use the stomatal openings as a vector to
the bole of the tree. This usually results in the death of the host
tree [28].

Breeding programs have produced strains that are 65 percent resistant to
intense exposure to white pine blister rust [2]. Selection of naturally
rust-resistant trees for seed sources for natural regeneration and
planting rust-resistant nursery stock may keep future damage from bister
rust minimal [11]. In established stands that are not rust resistant,
thinning tends to increase the number of new lethal infections, while
pruning tends to decrease the number of new lethal infections [18].

Fungi: Western white pine is susceptible to three species of needle
cast fungi: Lophodermella arcuata, Lophodermium nitens, and Bifusella
linearis. It is also susceptible to butt-rot fungi, the most important
being Phellinus pini, Phaeolus schweinitzii, and Heterobasidion annosum
[11].

The most damaging root disease of western white pine is Armillaria spp.,
which causes fading foliage, growth reduction, dead and rotten roots,
and black rhizomorphs, resulting in weakened or dead trees [11,70].
Annosus root disease (Heterobasidion annosum) also causes some mortality
[11]. It spreads radially, infecting an area up to 0.25 acre (0.1 ha)
away from stumps [70]. Treating freshly cut stumps with borax has been
proven effective in preventing the spread of annosus root disease [22].

Insects: Western white pine is susceptible to mountain pine beetle
(Dendroctonus ponderosae) and emarginate ips (Ips emarginatus), and is
the principal host for the ips beetle (Ips montanus) [11].

Pole blight: Pole blight is a physiological disorder brought on by
drought. This disease caused significant mortality from 1935 to 1960.
Tree mortality was believed to have resulted from rootlet mortality,
which reduced western white pine's ability to absorb moisture [11]. The
disease is restricted to sites with shallow soils or soils with low
moisture retention [30].

Other: Western white pine is sensitive to sulfur dioxide and flouride
smelter fumes. These contaminants cause the foliage to yellow and drop
prematurely. Dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium spp.) attacks western white
pine [11].

Silvicultural practices: The method of choice is clearcutting.
Selection cutting is not practical because it favors more shade-tolerant
species. The composition of a western white pine stand is determined in
the first 30 years. Until that time it is fairly plastic, and the stand
can be modified by thinning to enhance western white pine growth [11].

Planting: Western white pine seedlings are well suited for planting.
Both bareroot and container-grown stock exhibit excellent survival and
growth [11]. When planting seedlings on droughty sites, it is
beneficial to mound the seedbed, as this incorporates organic matter,
increases microbial activity, decreases density, and increases the
moisture capacity of the soil. This results in increased nutrient
availability for seedling growth and increases root penetration [41].
The soil should be packed lightly around the seedling. This practice
inceases the growth rate in the first year by up to 30 percent [31].
Seedlings planted in fall have a significantly reduced height growth
compared with those planted in the spring; however, there is little
difference in their survival rates [35].

Nitrogen can be limiting on some sites after harvest. The application
of nitrogen at 200 pounds per acre (225 kg/ha) has been found to
increase the growth rate of young western white pine stands (less than
10 years old) by 30 percent [37].

Frost tolerance: When dormant, western white pine is one of the more
frost-tolerant species of the Northwest [36].

Competitors: Competing vegetation of western white pine can be
effectivly controlled by the application of Roundup herbicide
(isopropylamine salt of glyphosate). The recommended rate of
application is 1 to 3 quarts (1-3 l) of Roundup to 10 gallons (38 l) of
aqueous solution per acre (0.4 ha). This treatment had no observable
effects on western white pine [33].
  • 1. Arno, Stephen F.; Hammerly, Ramona P. 1977. Northwest trees. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers. 222 p. [4208]
  • 2. Bingham, Richard T. 1983. Blister rust resistant western white pine for the Inland Empire: the first 25 years of the research and development program. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-146. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 45 p. [12952]
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]
  • 18. Hungerford, Roger D.; Williams, Ralph E.; Marsden, Michael A. 1982. Thinning and pruning western white pine: a potential for reducing mortality due to blister rust. Res. Note INT-322. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 7 p. [12921]
  • 22. Kliejunas, John T. 1989. Borax stump treatment for control of annosus root disease in the eastside pine type forests of northeastern California. In: Otrosina, William J.; Scharpf, Robert F., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on research and management of annosus root disease (Heterobasidion annosum) in western North America; 1989 April 18-21; Monterey, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-116. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 159-166. [11336]
  • 23. Klinka, K.; Feller, M. C.; Green, R. N.; [and others]
  • 28. Lanner, Ronald M. 1983. Trees of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 215 p. [1401]
  • 30. Leaphart, Charles D.; Foiles, Marvin W. 1972. Effects of removing pole-blighted western white pine trees on growth and development of a mixed conifer stand. Res. Note INT-161. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 6 p. [12882]
  • 31. Leege, Thomas A. 1968. Prescribed burning for elk in northern Idaho. In: Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1968 March 14-15; Tallahassee, FL. No 8. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 235-253. [5287]
  • 33. Miller, Daniel L. 1981. The effects of Roundup herbicide on northern Idaho conifers and shrub species. Forestry Technical Paper TP-81-2. Lewiston, ID: Potlatch Corporation. 13 p. [3581]
  • 35. Miller, Daniel L. 1981. Can we fall plant white pine?. Forestry Res. Note RN-81-6. Lewiston, ID: Potlatch Corporation, Wood Products, Western Division. 7 p. [13331]
  • 36. Minore, Don. 1979. Comparative autecological characteristics of northwestern tree species--a literature review. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-87. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 72 p. [1659]
  • 37. Moore, James A. 1988. Response of Douglas-fir, grand fir, and western white pine to forest fertilization. In: Schmidt, Wayne C., compiler. Proceedings--future forests of the Mountain West: a stand culture symposium; 1986 September 29 - October 3; Missoula, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-243. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 226-230. [14236]
  • 41. Page-Dumroese, D. S.; Jurgensen, M. F.; Graham, R. T.; Harvey, A. E. 1987. Soil physical & chemical properties associated w. three site preparation techniques & their effects on growth & survival of seedl. in n. Idaho. In: Kossuth, Susan V.; Pywell, Nancy A.,, compilers. Current topics in forest research: emphasis on contributions by women scientists: Proceedings of a national symposium; 1986 November 4-6; Gainesville, FL. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-46. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 66-70. [16300]
  • 70. Williams, Ralph E. 1989. Distribution and impacts of annosus root disease in forests of the northern Rocky Mountains. In: Otrosina, William J.; Scharpf, Robert F., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on research and management of annosus root disease (Heterobasidion annosum) in western North America; 1989 April 18-21; Monterey, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-116. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 51-56. [11322]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Other uses and values

More info for the term: tree

Native Americans chewed the resin, wove baskets from the bark, concocted
a poultice for dressing wounds from the pitch [62], and collected the
cambium in the spring for food [68].

Western white pine forests have aesthetic and recreational value. Cones
of western white pine are collected for novelty items [11]. The tree is
also planted as an ornamental [26].
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]
  • 26. Kruckeberg, A. R. 1982. Gardening with native plants of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 252 p. [9980]
  • 62. Turner, Nancy J. 1988. Ethnobotany of coniferous trees in Thompson and Lillooet Interior Salish of British Columbia. Economic Botany. 42(2): 177-194. [4542]
  • 68. White, Thain. 1954. Scarred trees in western Montana. Anthropology and Sociology Papers, No. 17. Missoula, MT: Montana State University. 15 p. [15438]

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Cover Value

More info for the term: cover

Western white pine provides nesting, thermal, and foraging cover for a
variety of aviafauna [52]; it also provides hiding and thermal cover for
elk [19].
  • 19. Irwin, Larry L.; Peek, James M. 1983. Elk habitat use relative to forest succession in Idaho. Journal of Wildlife Management. 47(3): 664-672. [12893]
  • 52. Sanderson, H. Reed; Bull, Evelyn L.; Edgerton, Paul J. 1980. Bird communities in mixed conifer forests of the interior northwest. In: DeGraaf, Richard M., technical coordinator. Management of western forests and grasslands for nongame birds: Workshop proceedings; 1980 February 11-14; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-86. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 224-237. [17907]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

Western white pine provides habitat for a variety of mammals, aviafauna,
and insects [3,11,64,66]. Western white pine comprises less than 1
percent of the winter diet of elk [61]; however, it is browsed by
black-tailed deer in the winter when other browse is limited [3]. The
seeds of western white pine are an important part of the diet of red
squirrels and deer mice [11].
  • 64. Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States, their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 362 p. [4240]
  • 3. Cowan, Ian McTaggart. 1945. The ecological relationships of the food of the Columbian black-tailed deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus (Richardson), in the c. forest region southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Ecological Monographs. 15(2): 110-139. [16006]
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]
  • 61. Trout, Lester C.; Leege, Thomas A. 1971. Are the northern Idaho elk herds doomed?. Idaho Wildlife Review. Nov-Dec: 3-6. [16731]
  • 66. Wellersdick, Marilee; Zalunardo, Ray. 1978. Characteristics of snags used by wildlife for nesting and feeding in the Western Cascades, Oregon. Roseburg, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Region 6 Pacific Northwest, Umpqua National Forest. 30 p. [17180]

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Wood Products Value

Western white pine is highly valued as a timber species. Its wood is
straight grained, nonresinous, lightweight, and exhibits dimensional
stability. These qualities render the wood useful in the production of
window and door sashes. The wood is also used in the production of
doors, paneling, dimension stock, matches, and toothpicks [11]. The
dimension stock works well. It takes nails without splitting, and it
takes a nice finish. The wood is also excellent for carving [1].
  • 1. Arno, Stephen F.; Hammerly, Ramona P. 1977. Northwest trees. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers. 222 p. [4208]
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]

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Nutritional Value

The foliar nutrient levels for current year's growth of western white
pine were listed as follows [65].

Percent Parts per million

P K Ca Mg S B Zn Fe Mn

0.20 1.10 0.24 0.10 0.09 30 45 45 240
  • 65. Will, G.M.; Youngberg, C.T T. 1979. Some foliage nutrient levels in tree and brush species growing on pumice soils in central Oregon. Northwest Science. 53(4): 274-276; 1979. [2564]

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Palatability

The palatability of western white pine's foliage to large ungulates is
generally rated as poor [3,61,64]. Blue grouse prefer western white
pine needles over those of western hemlock [21].
  • 21. King, R. Dennis; Bendell, James F. 1982. Foods selected by blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus fuliginosus). Canadian Journal of Zoology. 60(12): 3268-3281. [10169]
  • 64. Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States, their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 362 p. [4240]
  • 3. Cowan, Ian McTaggart. 1945. The ecological relationships of the food of the Columbian black-tailed deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus (Richardson), in the c. forest region southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Ecological Monographs. 15(2): 110-139. [16006]
  • 61. Trout, Lester C.; Leege, Thomas A. 1971. Are the northern Idaho elk herds doomed?. Idaho Wildlife Review. Nov-Dec: 3-6. [16731]

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Special Uses

Because western white pine wood is nonresinous, it is highly desired for  the manufacture of moldings and trim. Also, western white pine is used for  pattern stock, in cabinet shops, and for home handicraft because of its  softness and workability. The clear grades of lumber are used for patterns  in the foundry industry, mainly because of the high degree of dimensional  stability. Decorative plywood is manufactured by slicing, and a limited  amount of rotary-cut veneer is manufactured for industrial use.

    Western white pine grows in some of the finest western outdoor  recreation areas and has considerable esthetic value. In addition, the  long, distinctive cones are collected in considerable numbers for  novelties or souvenirs.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Wikipedia

Western white pine

Western white pine, Pinus monticola, also called silver pine,[2] and California mountain pine,[2] in the family Pinaceae, is a species of pine that occurs in the mountains of the western United States and Canada, specifically the Sierra Nevada, the Cascade Range, the Coast Range, and the northern Rocky Mountains. The tree extends down to sea level in many areas, particularly in Oregon and Washington. It is the state tree of Idaho, and is sometimes known as the Idaho pine.[3]

Description[edit]

Foliage and cones

Western white pine (Pinus monticola) is a large tree, regularly growing to 30–50 metres (98–164 ft) and exceptionally up to 70 metres (230 ft) tall. It is a member of the white pine group, Pinus subgenus Strobus, and like all members of that group, the leaves ('needles') are in fascicles (bundles) of five, with a deciduous sheath. The needles are finely serrated, and 5–13 centimetres (2.0–5.1 in) long. The cones are long and slender, 12–32 centimetres (4.7–12.6 in) long and 3–4 centimetres (1.2–1.6 in) broad (closed), opening to 5–8 centimetres (2.0–3.1 in) broad; the scales are thin and flexible. The seeds are small, 4–7 mm long, and have a long slender wing 15–22 mm long.

It is related to the Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), differing from it in having larger cones, slightly longer-lasting leaves (2–3 years, rather than 1.5–2 years) with more prominent stomatal bands, and a somewhat denser and narrower habit. The branches are borne in regular whorls, produced at the rate of one a year; this is pronounced in narrow, stand-grown trees, while open specimens may have a more rounded form with wide-reaching limbs. It is widely grown as an ornamental tree, but has been heavily logged throughout much of its range in the past.

Threats[edit]

Western white pine (Pinus monticola) has been seriously affected by the white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), a fungus that was accidentally introduced from Europe in 1909. The United States Forest Service estimates that 90% of the Western white pines have been killed by the blister rust west of the Cascades. Large stands have been succeeded by other pines or non-pine species. The rust has also killed much of the Whitebark pine outside of California. Blister rust is less severe in California, and Western white and whitebark pines have survived there in great numbers.

Resistance to the blister rust is genetic, and due to Western white pine's genetic variability some individuals are relatively unaffected by the rust. The Forest Service has a program for locating and breeding rust-resistant Western white pine and sugar pine. Seedlings of these trees have been introduced into the wild.

Western white pine in St. Joe National Forest, ID. Died in 1998 and was cut down in 1999.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Farjon, A. (2011). "Pinus monticola". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 3.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  2. ^ a b "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". 
  3. ^ Moore, Gerry; Kershner, Bruce; Craig Tufts; Daniel Mathews; Gil Nelson; Spellenberg, Richard; Thieret, John W.; Terry Purinton; Block, Andrew (2008). National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America. New York: Sterling. p. 78. ISBN 1-4027-3875-7. 

Further reading[edit]

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Notes

Comments

Pinus monticola is the most important western source for matchwood. Its wood lacks the sugary exudates seen in P . lambertiana . 

 Western white pine ( Pinus monticola ) is the state tree of Idaho.

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

western white pine
mountain white pine
Idaho white pine
silver pine

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Synonyms

Pinus monticola var. minima Lemmon
Pinus strobus L. var. monticola (Dougl. ex D. Don) Nutt.
Strobus monticola Rydb.

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The currently accepted scientific name of western white pine is Pinus
monticola Dougl. ex D. Don (Pinaceae) [11,38]. There are two recognized
varieties: P. m. var. minima Lemmon and P. m. var monticola [38].
There are no subspecies or forms.

Western white pine hybridizes with Balkan pine (P. peuce), blue pine (P.
griffithii), eastern white pine (P. strobus), southwestern white pine
(P. strobiformis), and limber pine (P. flexilis) [11].
  • 11. Graham, Russell T. 1990. Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don western white pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 385-394. [13397]
  • 38. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]

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