Virtues: This large tree of eastern Canada and much of the eastern United States tolerates a range of conditions and looks impressive in the landscape, thanks to its horizontal branching and asymmetrical shape. It has been named the 2021 Evergreen of the Year by GreatPlants, an award program that identifies superb plants for the challenging conditions of the Great Plains. A number of colorful, weeping and dwarf cultivars are available in the nursery trade, including weeping 'Pendula'; golden-leaved 'Louie'; and 'Wiggles', a rounded, dwarf white pine with twisting needles.
Common name: Eastern white pine
Botanical name: Pinus strobus
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Foliage: The dark green needles are held in bundles of five. They grow about five inches long and they're soft and flexible.
Habit: Eastern white pine reaches between 50 and 80 feet tall. It has an upright habit and horizontal branching that forms a crown 20 to 40 feet wide. This tree tends to grow with triangular shape while young. Mature trees have a roughly oval shape.
Origin: Pinus strobus is native to northern slopes and stream banks of eastern Canada through the Northeast and Great Lakes regions of the United States, south through the Appalachians to northern Georgia.
How to grow it: Plant eastern white pine in full sun or part shade and soil that offers consistent moisture but drains well. It prefers cooler temperatures. Mulch around it with a thick layer of pine needles to help cool the soil and preserve moisture. USDA Zones 3–8.
Image credit: F. D. Richards/CC BY-SA 2.0