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Pitch Pine vs Eastern White Pine

These pines are sometimes confused because their ranges overlap and their needles are similar in length. They are easily distinguished by cones, needle color, and habitat.

Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida)

Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

A scrubby pine that often grows in harsh conditions, such as acidic or sandy soil. Adapted to fire.
A common native pine of the northeast, Eastern White Pine is the tallest tree in Eastern North America.
Three needles per cluster.
Five needles per cluster.
Needles green to yellowish green, never bluish.
Needles bluish green.
Cones stout, oval-shaped. Some cones may remain on the tree and not open until a fire.
Cones much longer and narrower relative to their width. All cones open when ripe.
Grows in harsh, exposed conditions where white pine (and most other trees) could not survive.
Found on richer sites. Young trees often found in forested setting where pitch pine would not have enough light to survive.