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© Alexander Peichel

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collage of Eastern White Pine and Red Pine

Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) vs. Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)

Updated December 17th, 2021

Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) and red pine (Pinus resinosa) are often confused where their ranges overlap. Both are large, long-lived, straight-growing trees with long needles, frequently seen towering over other trees in a forest. They are easily distinguished by needle count per bundle, cone length, and bark color. With experience, they can also be identified at a glance by crown shape and foliage color and texture. Although both species are grown in plantations, red pine is rarely grown in landscaping. Although their habitats overlap and both frequently grow near lakes, white pine is found in richer, more humid habitats, and can be found farther south, whereas red pine is restricted to a more northerly range and sites with poorer, usually sandy soil.

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