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collage of Shortleaf Pine and Eastern White Pine

Shortleaf Pine (Pinus echinata) vs. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

Updated January 5th, 2023

These species are sometimes confused where their ranges overlap, as both tend to have more delicate-looking foliage with thin needles of similar length, and can tower over deciduous forests. They are easily distinguished by cones, bark, count of needles per bundle, and crown shape. Pinus strobus ranges much farther north, is more shade-tolerant, and in the areas of range overlap is more restricted to cool, humid sites. Pinus echinata ranges much farther south and southwest, prefers dry sites, and is more strictly limited to sites with acidic, leached soils.

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