Edit Page
Print Page

Western White Pine - Pinus monticola


Pinus monticola is an evergreen Tree growing to 60 m (196ft 10in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile. [PFAF]
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.[PFAF]


General: Tree to 50 m tall, sometimes taller; bark thin, grey and smooth when young, developing into small, squarish scales, greyish where flakes exposed, cinnamon brown underneath; young twigs puberulent. [IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: Needles in fives, (3) 5-10 cm long; light blue-green. [IFBC-E-flora] Cones:
Seed cones pendant at ends of upper branches, yellow-green to purple when young, turning yellowish-brown, 15-25 cm long when mature; scales thin; pollen cones yellow, clustered. [IFBC-E-flora]
USDA Flower Colour: Yellow
USDA Blooming Period: Mid Spring
USDA Fruit/Seed characteristics:

Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall

Habitat / Range
Moist to dry slopes in the lowland and montane zones; frequent in S BC; E to SW AB and S to CA, NV, ID, and MT. [IFBC-E-flora]
Origin Status: Native [E-flora]


Edible Uses

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses

"The pitch, like that of lodgepole pine, was used as a medicine for stomach aches, coughs, and sores (Cranmer, 1969; Johnson, 1969; Willey, 1969). The gum was chewed by women to give them fertility. It was thought to have the power to make girls pregnant, even without sexual intercourse (Boas, 1935)." [Turner&Bell2]


"Thrives in a light well-drained sandy or gravelly loam in a sunny position[1, 11]. Dislikes poorly drained moorland soils[1]. Established plants tolerate drought[200]. A fast growing tree, capable of sustaining growth of 75cm per year over a long period of time even when in an unfavourable site. This species establishes very well on severely altered sites such as after a forest fire[229]. Trees on a site 300m above sea level in N. Wales have grown exceptionally well[185]. Girth increases of up to 4cm a year have been recorded[185]. Trees take 30 - 40 years before they produce reliable crops of seeds[229]. Good crops are produced every 2 - 4 years in the wild, with little seed in the intervening years[229]. The cones are 12 - 27cm long and take 2 years to mature[82, 229], they open and shed their seed in late summer and early autumn whilst still attached to the tree[82, 226]. Very susceptible to 'white pine blister rust' this tree should not be planted near Ribes species (currants and gooseberries) because they can transmit the rust(1, 11, 120). Most of the older trees in this country have been killed by the rust. However, it seems that infection only occurs when the trees are young in this country and new plantings in areas isolated from species of Ribes are being made[185]. Plants are also subject to damage by aphis. Trees have a thin bark, which makes them susceptible to forest fires[226]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[200]. Leaf secretions inhibit the germination of seeds, thereby reducing the amount of plants that can grow beneath the tree[18]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]."[PFAF]

"Formation of traumatic resin ducts was also reported... for fungus-infected western white pine (Pinus monticola) (Hudgins et al. 2005). It was shown that wounding and fungal infection lead to the formation of traumatic resin ducts in spruce and pine, not only at the site of infection but to some degree also in distant tissues.... Traumatic resin ducts contribute to increased resin production and the newly formed resin can be different in chemical composition compared to constitutive resin (Martin et al. 2002; Faldt et al. 2003; Miller et al. 2005; Zulak et al. 2009)." [Matyssek GDP]


"It is best to sow the seed in individual pots in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible otherwise in late winter. A short stratification of 6 weeks at 4°c can improve the germination of stored seed[80]. Plant seedlings out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and protect them for their first winter or two[11]. Plants have a very sparse root system and the sooner they are planted into their permanent positions the better they will grow[K]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm[200]. We actually plant them out when they are about 5 - 10cm tall. So long as they are given a very good weed-excluding mulch they establish very well[K]. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[200]. Cuttings. This method only works when taken from very young trees less than 10 years old. Use single leaf fascicles with the base of the short shoot. Disbudding the shoots some weeks before taking the cuttings can help. Cuttings are normally slow to grow away[81]."[PFAF]

Requires 48h seed soak with water change every 24hours. "Warm/cold stratification: seeds are soaked, drained and kept at 20–25°C for 4 weeks, then stratified for 8 weeks at 2–5°C." [Leadem FSSB]

Fungal Associations:

Alleleopathic: "The needles contain a substance called terpene, this is released when rain washes over the needles and it has a negative effect on the germination of some plants, including wheat[201]." [PFAF]


The information presented on this site is provided for educational purposes. Self diagnosis and treatment, without due diligence, could be harmful and is not encouraged. Some information & images may be copyright. Every effort has been made to present the information in the spirit with which it was originally presented. Some data has been omitted for legal and/or practical consideration. There is some data not covered in the scope of this project, including, but not limited to, cell culture and large-dose animal studies. I have made comparisons and links between related species which may later prove erroneous. I have not verified the information for accuracy and I accept no responsibility for its authenticity. Many of the plants presented are poisonous, have poisonous properties, or could cause illness through misuse, allergic reaction, drug interactions and environmental contaminants. Please use caution and mindfulness when harvesting plants for any use.

Page last modified on 15-10-2016