Western white pine

Western white pine (Pinus monticola) also called silver pine,[2] and California mountain pine,[2] in the family Pinaceae, is a species of pine that occurs in the mountains of the western United States and Canada, specifically the Sierra Nevada, the Cascade Range, the Coast Range, and the northern Rocky Mountains. The tree extends down to sea level in many areas, particularly in Oregon and Washington. It is the state tree of Idaho, and is sometimes known as the Idaho pine.[3]

Western white pine
Pinus monticola
Pinus monticola Idaho3
Western white pine (center)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: P. subg. Strobus
Section: P. sect. Quinquefoliae
Subsection: P. subsect. Strobus
P. monticola
Binomial name
Pinus monticola
Pinus monticola range map 1


Pinus monticola0
Foliage and cones

Western white pine (Pinus monticola) is a large tree, regularly growing to 30–50 metres (98–164 ft) and exceptionally up to 70 metres (230 ft) tall. It is a member of the white pine group, Pinus subgenus Strobus, and like all members of that group, the leaves ('needles') are in fascicles (bundles) of five, with a deciduous sheath. The needles are finely serrated, and 5–13 cm (2–5 in) long. The cones are long and slender, 12–32 cm (4 3412 12 in) long and 3–4 cm (1 141 12 in) broad (closed), opening to 5–8 cm (2–3 14 in) broad; the scales are thin and flexible. The seeds are small, 4–7 mm (31614 in) long, and have a long slender wing 15–22 mm (91678 in) long.

It is related to the Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), differing from it in having larger cones, slightly longer-lasting leaves (2–3 years, rather than 1.5–2 years) with more prominent stomatal bands, and a somewhat denser and narrower habit. The branches are borne in regular whorls, produced at the rate of one a year; this is pronounced in narrow, stand-grown trees, while open specimens may have a more rounded form with wide-reaching limbs. It is widely grown as an ornamental tree, but has been heavily logged throughout much of its range in the past.


Pinus monticola Umatilla
Large P. monticola

Western white pine (Pinus monticola) has been seriously affected by the white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), a fungus that was accidentally introduced from Europe in 1909. The United States Forest Service estimates that 90% of the Western white pines have been killed by the blister rust west of the Cascades. Large stands have been succeeded by other pines or non-pine species. The rust has also killed much of the whitebark pine outside of California. Blister rust is less severe in California, and Western white and whitebark pines have survived there in great numbers.

Resistance to the blister rust is genetic, and due to Western white pine's genetic variability some individuals are relatively unaffected by the rust. The Forest Service has a program for locating and breeding rust-resistant Western white pine and sugar pine. Seedlings of these trees have been introduced into the wild.

Western white pine
Western white pine in St. Joe National Forest. Died in 1998 and was cut down in 1999.


  1. ^ Farjon, A. (2013). "Pinus monticola". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T42383A2976604. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42383A2976604.en. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Pinus monticola". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  3. ^ Moore, Gerry; Kershner, Bruce; Craig Tufts; Daniel Mathews; Gil Nelson; Spellenberg, Richard; Thieret, John W.; Terry Purinton; Block, Andrew (2008). National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America. New York: Sterling. p. 78. ISBN 1-4027-3875-7.

Further reading

External links

Arceuthobium monticola

Arceuthobium monticola is a species of dwarf mistletoe known as western white pine dwarf mistletoe. It is endemic to the Klamath Mountains of northern California and southern Oregon, where it lives as a parasite on western white pine trees. This is a brownish to reddish shrub which is visible as a network of scaly stems extending above the bark of its host tree. Most of the mistletoe is located inside the host tree, attached to it via haustoria, which tap the tree for water and nutrients. The leaves of the mistletoe are reduced to scales on its surface.

Cronartium ribicola

Cronartium ribicola is a species of rust fungus in the family Cronartiaceae that causes the disease white pine blister rust.

C. ribicola is native to China, and was subsequently introduced to North America. Some European and Asian white pines (e.g. Macedonian Pine, Swiss Pine, Blue Pine) are mostly resistant to the disease, having co-evolved with the pathogen.

It was accidentally introduced into North America about 1900, where it is an invasive species causing serious damage to the American white pines, which have little genetic resistance. Mortality is particularly heavy in Western White Pine, Sugar Pine, Limber Pine and Whitebark Pine. Efforts are under way to select and breed the rare resistant individuals of these species; resistance breeding is concentrated at the United States Forest Service Dorena Genetic Resource Center in Oregon.

Some limited silvicultural control of the disease is possible. If bark blisters are found on branches over 10–15 cm from the bole, those branches may be pruned off, which will stop the spread of the disease to the rest of that tree. If the main trunk is affected then no control is possible, and the tree will die once the infection encircles the tree. Infected trees are often identified by "flagging", when all the needles on a branch turn brown and die. Infections often occur on low branches close to the ground on young trees, so pruning of white pine can also be effective in multiple ways, as it improves the quality of timber by creating more knot-free timber, and reduces the likelihood of infection from the blister rust to a small extent. Another form of control practiced in some areas is to diligently remove Ribes plants from any area near white pines. Because the infection moves from currant plants, to pines, and back again, it cannot continue to exist without its alternate host. Although effective in theory, removal of currants is rarely successful in practice, as they readily re-grow from small pieces of root left in the soil, and the seeds are very widely spread in birds' droppings. According to the Southwest Oregon Forest Insect and Disease Service Center, white pine blister rust attacks all five needle pines. "Damage [to plants] includes mortality, top kill, branch dieback, and predisposition to attack by other agents, including bark beetles" [1].

Emerald Lake (British Columbia)

Emerald Lake is located in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada. It is the largest of Yoho's 61 lakes and ponds, as well as one of the park's premier tourist attractions. Emerald Lake Lodge, a high-end lodge perched on the edge of the lake, provides local accommodation. A 5.2 km (3.2 mi) hiking trail circuits the lake, the first half of which is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. During the summer months, canoe rentals are available; in the winter, the lake is a popular cross country skiing destination.

The lake is enclosed by mountains of the President Range, as well as Mount Burgess and Wapta Mountain. This basin traps storms, causing frequent rain in summer and heavy snowfalls in winter. This influx of moisture works with the lake's low elevation to produce a unique selection of flora. Trees found here are more typical of B.C.'s wet interior forests, such as western red cedar, western yew, western hemlock and western white pine. The alluvial fan on the northeast shore produces wildflowers in abundance during late June and early July.Due to its high altitude, the lake is frozen from November until June. The vivid turquoise color of the water, caused by powdered limestone, is most spectacular in July as the snow melts from the surrounding mountains.

The first non-indigenous person to set sight on Emerald Lake was Canadian guide Tom Wilson, who stumbled upon it by accident in 1882. A string of his horses had gotten away, and it was while tracking them that he first entered the valley. The lake had an impression on even the most seasoned of explorers: "For a few moments I sat [on] my horse and enjoyed the rare, peaceful beauty of the scene." It was Wilson who gave the lake its name because of its remarkable colour, caused by fine particles of glacial sediment, also referred to as rock flour, suspended in the water. However, this was not the first time Wilson had dubbed a lake 'Emerald'. Earlier that same year he had discovered another lake which he had given the same moniker, and the name even appeared briefly on the official map. This first lake however, was shortly renamed Lake Louise.

Hamilton, Nevada

Hamilton is an abandoned mining town located in the White Pine Range, in western White Pine County, Nevada, United States.

Kaiser Wilderness

The Kaiser Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness protected area located 70 miles (110 km) northeast of Fresno in the state of California, USA. It was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System by the United States Congress on October 19, 1976. The wilderness is 22,700 acres (92 km2) in size, is one of five wilderness areas within the Sierra National Forest and is managed by the US Forest Service.

The Kaiser Wilderness stretches along an east-west ridge and is separated from the High Sierra by the South Fork San Joaquin River canyon. It is a miniature version of the Sierra, with elevations from 7,200 feet (2,200 m) to 10,320 feet (3,150 m) at Kaiser Peak, and is composed of glacier-scoured granite blocks, cirques, lakes, granitic cliffs and alpine peaks. Although a small wilderness, it is part of the almost contiguous federal wilderness areas along the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range with the John Muir Wilderness on the east, and Ansel Adams Wilderness to the northeast. Immediately south is Huntington Lake, a rustic summer time resort area. China Peak Ski Resort lies south of the Wilderness as well

The forest consists of white fir, Jeffrey pine, red fir, western white pine, and mountain hemlock. On Kaiser Ridge there are stands of lodgepole pine, and at timberline whitebark pine and Sierra juniper grow in mats of krummholtz. Willows and alders grow along the perennial streams that form the drainage area of the South Fork of the San Joaquin River.

Some of the popular lakes in the Kaiser Wilderness are Nellie Lake, George Lake, and Upper Twin Lake, with Upper Twin Lake having a cave where the outlet stream disappears into and then flows underground for several hundred yards before resurfacing.

Recreational activities include day hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing, rock scrambling, nature photography and snowshoeing. A wilderness permit is required for overnight trips into the Kaiser Wilderness. The Forest Service encourages the practice of Leave No Trace principles of outdoor travel to minimize human impact on the environment.

LaTour Demonstration State Forest

LaTour Demonstration State Forest is a state forest totaling 9,033 acres in the southern Cascade Range and Shasta County, in northern California.It became a state forest in 1946.

Laminated root rot

Laminated root rot also known as yellow ring rot is caused by the fungal pathogen Phellinus weirii. Laminated root rot is one of the most damaging root disease amongst conifers in northwestern America and true firs, Douglas-fir, Mountain hemlock, and Western hemlock are highly susceptible to infection with P. weirii. A few species of plants such as Western white pine and Lodgepole pine are tolerant to the pathogen while Ponderosa pine is resistant to it. Only hardwoods are known to be immune to the pathogen.

Marble Mountains (Siskiyou County)

The term Marble Mountains is a common misnomer for the northwestern portion of the Salmon Mountains in which Marble Mountain is located. The Salmon Mountains are themselves a sub-range of the Klamath Mountains in northwestern California. The misnomer derives from the fact that Marble Mountain, a prominent limestone peak and the namesake of the surrounding Marble Mountain Wilderness Area, is commonly confused as the name of the mountain range to which it belongs. Geographically, Marble Mountain is a single mountain, not the name of a range of mountains. Nonetheless, the term "Marble Mountains" is commonly applied not only to Marble Mountain itself but as a colloquial name for the larger northwestern portion of the Salmon Mountains in which Marble Mountain is located.

The 242,500-acre (981 km2) Marble Mountain Wilderness is a forested area and contains 89 lakes stocked with trout. Large streams have steelhead trout and salmon. Bear, deer and other wildlife are plentiful. Long recognized for its wild value, this region became a Primitive area in 1931, a Wilderness in 1953, and a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1964.

The area where Marble Mountain now exists was once part of the flat bottom of an ancient, shallow ocean. Millions of years ago, violent volcanic upheavings and the erosive cutting action of rivers and glaciers combined to form the Marble Mountains. Marble Mountain itself is composed primarily of prehistoric marine invertebrates. Almost all the lakes of the Marble Mountains were formed by ancient glacial activity.

The Pacific Crest Trail runs through the wilderness for 32 miles (51 km). The Marble Mountain Wilderness features an unparalleled diversity of plant life found nowhere else in the state. More species of conifers (17) live in proximity here than any place else in the world. These trees include the Brewer's spruce, incense cedar, Western Juniper; white, subalpine, and Shasta red fir; Engelmann spruce, mountain hemlock, Pacific yew; and whitebark, knobcone, foxtail, lodgepole, sugar, ponderosa, and Western white pine.

Marble Mountain form part of the drainages of the Salmon, Scott, and Klamath rivers.

Marble Mountain can be reached by trail access via State Route 96 between Hamburg and Somes Bar, State Route 3 via the Scott River Road between Scott Bar and Fort Jones or State Route 3 via Salmon River Road.

Newark Valley (Nevada)

Newark Valley is a north–south trending endorheic valley in western White Pine County, Nevada. The valley contains the dry Newark Lake bed which is approximately 23 km (14 mi) by 3.5 km (2.2 mi). To the west the Diamond Mountains border the valley and to the east various minor mountains separate the Newark from Long Valley. To the north across a relatively low divide lies Huntington and Ruby valleys.US Route 50 crosses the south end of the valley at the north end of the Pancake Range. Nevada State Route 892 runs north from US 50 along the west margin of the valley.

Pinus albicaulis

Pinus albicaulis, known by the common names whitebark pine, white pine, pitch pine, scrub pine, and creeping pine, is a conifer tree native to the mountains of the western United States and Canada, specifically subalpine areas of the Sierra Nevada, Cascade Range, Pacific Coast Ranges, and Rocky Mountains from Wyoming northwards. It shares the common name "creeping pine" with several other plants.

The whitebark pine is typically the highest-elevation pine tree found in these mountain ranges and often marks the tree line. Thus, it is often found as krummholz, trees growing close to the ground that have been dwarfed by exposure. In more favorable conditions, the trees may grow to 29 meters (95 ft) in height.

Pinus ayacahuite

Pinus ayacahuite, also called ayacahuite pine and Mexican white pine, (family Pinaceae) is a species of pine native to the mountains of southern Mexico and western Central America, in the Sierra Madre del Sur and the eastern end of the Eje Volcánico Transversal, between 14° and 21°N latitude in the Mexican states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz and Chiapas, and in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. It grows on relatively moist areas with summer rainfalls, however specimens from its eastern and southern distribution live under really wet conditions; it needs full sun and well drained soils. Its temperature needs fluctuate between 19 and 10 °C on average a year. This tree accepts from subtropical to cool climate.

Pinus ayacahuite is a large tree, regularly growing to 30–45 m and exceptionally up to 50 m tall. It is a member of the white pine group, Pinus subgenus Strobus, and like all members of that group, the leaves ('needles') are in fascicles (bundles) of five, with a deciduous sheath. The needles are finely serrated, and 9–16 cm long. The cones are long and slender, 15–40 cm long and 4–6 cm broad (closed), opening to 6–10 cm broad; the scales are thin and flexible. The seeds are small, 6–8 mm long, and have a long slender wing 18–25 mm long.

It is moderately susceptible to white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), but in cultivation has proved somewhat less susceptible than most other American white pines (see e.g. western white pine, sugar pine).

Pinus cembra

Pinus cembra, also known as Swiss pine, Swiss stone pine or Arolla pine or Austrian stone pine or just Stone pine, is a species of pine tree that grows in the Alps and Carpathian Mountains of central Europe, in Poland (Tatra Mountains), Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia (Tatra Mountains), Ukraine and Romania. It typically grows at 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) to 2,300 metres (7,500 ft) altitude. It often reaches the alpine tree line in this area. The mature size is typically between 25 metres (82 ft) and 35 metres (115 ft) in height, and the trunk diameter can be up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft). The species is long-lasting and can reach an age between 500 and 1000 years. However, it grows very slowly and it may take 30 years for the tree to reach 1.3 metres (4.3 ft).

It is a member of the white pine group, Pinus subgenus Strobus, and like all members of that group, the leaves ('needles') are in fascicles (bundles) of five, with a deciduous sheath. The needle-like leaves are 5 centimetres (2.0 in) to 9 centimetres (3.5 in) long. The cones, which contain the seeds (or nuts), of the Swiss pine are 4 centimetres (1.6 in) to 8 centimetres (3.1 in) long. The 8 millimetres (0.31 in) to 12 millimetres (0.47 in) long seeds have only a vestigial wing and are dispersed by spotted nutcrackers.

The very similar Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica) is treated as a variety or subspecies of Swiss pine by some botanists. It differs in having slightly larger cones, and needles with three resin canals instead of two as in the Swiss pine.

Like other European and Asian white pines, Swiss pine is very resistant to white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola). This fungal disease was accidentally introduced from Europe into North America, where it has caused severe mortality in the American native white pines in many areas, notably, Western white pine and the closely related whitebark pine. Swiss pine is of great value for research into hybridisation to develop rust resistance in these species.

Pinus flexilis

Pinus flexilis, the limber pine, is a species of pine tree-the family Pinaceae that occurs in the mountains of the Western United States, Mexico, and Canada. It is also called Rocky Mountain white pine.

A limber pine in Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon has been documented as over 2000 years old, and another one was confirmed at 1140 years old. Another candidate for the oldest limber pine was identified in 2006 near the Alta Ski Area in Utah; called "Twister", the tree was confirmed to be at least 1700 years old and thought to be even older.

Pinus lambertiana

Pinus lambertiana (commonly known as the sugar pine or sugar cone pine) is the tallest and most massive pine tree, and has the longest cones of any conifer. The species name lambertiana was given by the British botanist David Douglas, who named the tree in honour of the English botanist, Aylmer Bourke Lambert. It is native to the mountains of the Pacific coast of North America, from Oregon through California to Baja California.

Russian Peak

Russian Peak is part of a sub-range of the Klamath Mountains called the Salmon Mountains—a horseshoe-shaped range encompassing the headwaters of the Salmon River. The mountain itself is part of the granitic Russian Peak batholith.

This beautiful peak is also the highest peak in the Russian Wilderness—12,700 acres (51 km2) of subalpine lakes and botanical wonders.

The peak gained prominence amongst botanists in the 1970s when Dale Thornburgh and John Sawyer began conducting studies in its drainages. In addition to discovering the first stands of subalpine fir in California, the diversity of other conifers they found here was reason for pause and then return studies. In all, after several years of research, they discovered 17 species of conifers in one square mile—of varied terrain—below the peak. Those conifers are: foxtail pine, whitebark pine, western white pine, Jeffrey pine, ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, sugar pine, white fir, Shasta fir, subalpine fir, Engelmann spruce, Brewer spruce, mountain hemlock, Douglas-fir, incense-cedar, common juniper, and Pacific yew. An 18th conifer, the western juniper, was documented and reported by Richard Moore in 2013.Sawyer and Thornburgh coined the term Enriched Stands of the Klamath Mountains to define the phenomenon here, and a few other place in the Klamath Mountains, where high diversity and rare associations of conifers exists. They went on to suggest that these complex vegetation associations are due to reduced biological interactions—or simply minimal competition between species. In addition to being part of the Western Pacific Cordillera, connecting it with the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada (U.S.) and allowing for migrations over time, the area has varied climate, nutrient rich and poor soils, and sporadic disturbance, like fires. The interaction of these factors ultimately reduces competition between these species allowing such diversity in a small area. This is a formula for not only conifer diversity but other plant diversity as well. Eventually this duo, helped by their students from Humboldt State University, identified over 400 species of vascular plants around the peak.

Sayward Valley

Sayward Valley is a low-lying area in northeastern Vancouver Island. It is occupied by a floodplain of the Salmon River. The soils there have variable drainage and are mostly of loam texture. Upland soils in the valley have clay loam to gravelly loamy sand texture and show podzol profile development in most cases.

Forest vegetation is dominated by large Douglas-fir, western hemlock and western red cedar. Other large trees include grand fir (at its northern limit), Sitka spruce, western white pine, black cottonwood, red alder and bigleaf maple.

Shellback Wilderness

Shellback Wilderness is a 36,143-acre (14,627 ha) wilderness area in western White Pine County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. The Wilderness lies within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and is therefore administered by the U.S. Forest Service.Located just north of the Bald Mountain and White Pine Range Wilderness Areas, the Shellback Wilderness was created by the White Pine County Conservation, Recreation and Development Act of 2006. Moorman Ridge dominates the skyline at 9,052 feet (2,759 m). The western slope of the Wilderness contains several springs and lush vegetation, whereas the eastern slope is much more arid.

Sierra Nevada subalpine zone

The Sierra Nevada subalpine zone refers to a biotic zone below treeline in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, United States. This subalpine zone is positioned between the upper montane zone (such as red fir forest) at its lower limit, and tree line at its upper limit.

The Sierra Nevada subalpine zone occurs between 2,450–3,660 metres (8,000–12,000 ft), and is characterized by an open woodland of several conifer species, including whitebark pine, lodgepole pine, western white pine, mountain hemlock, and Sierra juniper. The vegetation and ecology is determined by the harsh climate, with extensive snow and wind. In addition, soils are thin and nutrient-poor. Due to these harsh conditions, vegetation grows slowly and at low temperatures. In addition, the stressful environment suppress species competition and promotes mutualism.

The marginal conditions make the Sierra Nevada subalpine zone sensitive to environmental changes, such as climate change and pollution. The long-lived nature of the subalpine species make the zone a good study system to examine these effects.

Suillus borealis

Suillus borealis is a species of bolete fungus in the family Suillaceae. Found in western North America where it associates with western white pine (Pinus monticola), the fungus was described as new to science in 1965 by mycologists Alexander H. Smith, Harry Delbert Thiers, and Orson K. Miller. It is similar in appearance to Suillus luteus, but unlike in that species, the partial veil does not form a ring on the stipe.

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