White Pine

Pinus strobus

There is only one white pine in the Park, in the southeast triangle. 
White pine factoids:
  • It is the largest northeastern conifer, growing up to 100 feet tall and living as long as 400 years.
  • The needles are flexible and in bundles, or fascicles, of five. If a pine in the northeastern United States has five needles in a fascicle, you can be pretty confidant it is a white pine. A memory tip: white has five letters, the same number as the needles in a fascicle in a white pine.
  • The fascicles grow right out of the branches. 
  • White pine forests in colonial times were cleared for the flooring and framing of houses and barns.
  • Tall white pines with quality wood were known in colonial times as mast pines, reserved for the King's navy for use as masts. The New Hampshire Pine Tree Riot of 1772 was a minor rebellion preceding the 1776 major rebellion.
  • The number of whorls of branches from the ground up correlates directly with the age of the tree.
  • The mat of needles below a white pine is normal, as the interior and lower needles turn brown and fall off
  • Like all pines, the white pine is monoecious, meaning male and female cones are on the same tree. The female cones mature on the tree and release their hidden seeds.
  • Sap drippings from the bark turn white upon exposure to air. This hardened sap from members of the pine genus is called amber, and can trap insects and fossilize. The Greek word for amber is "elektron," from which came the English word "electricity."
  • The white pine appeared on flags on ships commissioned by George Washington in the American Revolution. It appears today on the State flag of Maine.
Flag flown from ships commissioned by George Washington during the early years of the American Revolution. The white pine was used for making the masts of many ships.

Matthias Baldwin Park 

423 N 19th St 

Philadelphia, PA 19130

Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to preserve the Matthias Baldwin Park

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