White Pine (Pinus strobus), which is also referred to as Eastern White Pine and Northern White Pine, is a large evergreen tree in the Pinaceae family. White Pine trees are native to eastern North America, found in Newfoundland, Canada, and as far south as Georgia.
These trees are among the tallest in North America and reach around 100 to 180 feet tall when fully grown. White Pines can grow quickly, adding around 3 feet a year to their height during their peak growth age, from 15 to 45 years old. The trees often live for 200 to 250 years with some reaching closer to 400 years old. White Pine trees have straight trunks with branches spaced a little over a foot apart around the trunk, like the spokes of a wheel. Young tree bark is thin and gray-green while the mature bark is 1 to 2 inches thick with many layers of brown scales. White Pine needles typically grow in fascicles of five, this configuration is unique to all types of White Pines. The needles are 2 to 5 inches long, flexible, and dark green.
White Pines produce cones that contain their seeds, with male and female cones able to grow on the same tree. Male pine cones are small and yellow and grow in clusters at the bottom of the new growth for that year. Female White Pine cones are slender, only about 2 inches wide when open, and about 3 to 6 inches long. The seeds within the female cones are less than an eighth of an inch long with a thin wing that helps them to be dispersed by the wind. It can take the female cone 2 to 3 years to mature and it will drop from the tree soon after shedding its seeds. White Pines begin reproducing between 20 and 30 years of age and will continue to do so every 3 to 5 years.
White Pine trees are most easily recognized as the quintessential Christmas Tree and have long been used for this purpose. The trees are commonly cultivated for their wood which has a high resin content, making it ideal for use as fuel, as well as making a pitch and tar that is traditionally used in construction. White Pine needles have been used throughout history as a filling for mattresses as it was believed that the scent would help repel fleas and lice. White Pine tree bark was used to help reduce symptoms of colds and headaches in addition to calming sore throat and easing respiratory discomfort.
Note: White Pine trees were used for ship’s masts by the British. It was illegal for a colonist to cut a White Pine tree, with the penalty of death. Trees to be used for masts had a carving of a “Broad Arrow” in the bark at breast height.
White Pine trees were imported to England in 1620 by Captain George Weymouth. He planted the trees for a timber crop but did not experience success because of White Pine Blister Rust Disease. The harvesting of White Pine trees in the American midwest played a major role in America's westward expansion through the Great Plains region. In one single year, a quarter-million White Pines were harvested and sent to lumber yards in Chicago during that period. Many species of old-growth pine, including White Pine, have been a highly desired wood for many applications because large, knot-free boards are easier to obtain. The trees were fairly common and easy to cut which made them a popular choice for paneling, floors, and furniture in American Colonial homes. White Pine has been a long-time favorite tree of loggers because the logs can still be processed in a lumber mill a year or more after being felled. This is beneficial since most hardwood trees like Cherry, Oak, and Ash must be cut soon after felling to prevent large cracks from developing in the trunk.
The amazing height of the White Pine has made it prominent in folk tales. It has earned the symbolic reputation as a tree that loves sunlight and always grows tall to catch the sun's beams. This narrative is present in numerous cultures, many of which refer to the White Pine as “The Master of Light” and “The Torch Tree.” Some Native American cultures refer to it as “The Watchman of the Sky” and it is burned as a spiritual offering in the region of Corsica.
Fresh pine needles are harvested from White Pine trees for essential oil production. After harvest, the needles and small twigs of the tree are often chopped up and ground. This helps to release more essential oil during distillation and to allow more plant material to fit inside the still. White Pine essential oil is extracted from the needles of the tree through steam distillation. The resulting essential oil is thin and clear with a fresh, invigorating, and resinous aroma.
Benefits & Uses
When used in aromatherapy, White Pine Essential Oil is known for its uplifting and invigorating effects. It helps to ease stress and encourage a positive mood while giving the body a boost of energy to help prevent fatigue. It can help to clear the mind and enhance concentration, making it beneficial for spiritual practices, such as meditation. Diffusing White Pine helps to support a healthy respiratory system by soothing cough, congestion, colds, flu, and asthma symptoms. White Pine has decongestant and expectorant properties that work to break up phlegm and facilitate easier breathing.
When diluted and applied topically, White Pine Essential Oil is known to soothe sore and inflamed muscles and joints. It can help to ease the inflammation and stiffness in joints that may be caused by arthritis and rheumatism. White Pine Essential Oil works to stimulate circulation and promote the regeneration of skin cells which helps to reduce pain as well as facilitate the healing of minor cuts, burns, burns, and other abrasions. Additionally, it is known to help relieve muscle fatigue after heavy activity or overexertion. White Pine essential oil is recognized to help soothe skin conditions that can cause dryness, itchiness, inflammation, and dryness, such as eczema and psoriasis. It can also help to reduce excessive perspiration and prevent fungal infections. Antioxidant properties make White Pine Essential Oil helpful in reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. White Pine Essential Oil can be beneficial to the hair and scalp when applied topically. Its antimicrobial properties eliminate bacteria from the scalp and help to prevent inflammation and itchiness. It works to cleanse the scalp and hair of the excess dead skin, product, and oil build-up that can contribute to dandruff or dry scalp. White Pine Essential Oil works to moisturize hair for improved hair health and a smooth and shiny appearance. White Pine Essential Oil can combat harmful bacteria both in the air and on our bodies, helping to support the immune system and prevent infection. The powerful antibacterial, antimicrobial, and purifying properties make White Pine Essential Oil a great cleaning agent for our homes, while its deodorizing power works to eliminate unwanted scents and freshen the air.
Here are some of our favorite ways to use White Pine Essential Oil...
Crisp Forest Air Diffuser Blend
- 4 drops of White Pine Essential Oil
- 2 drops of Fir Needle Essential Oil
- 2 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
- 2 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Add water to your diffuser up to the fill line. Add drops of the essential oil blend. This diffuser blend recipe is formulated for a 200ml ultrasonic diffuser. Adjust the amount according to the size and directions of your diffuser.
Say Goodbye to Flakes Moisturizing Scalp Oil
- 2 oz Amber Bottle with Dropper
- 1 oz of Sweet Almond Oil
- 1 oz of Jojoba Oil
- 8 drops of White Pine Essential Oil
- 8 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
- 6 drops of Chamomile Essential Oil
Add all ingredients to the bottle and give it a good shake to combine. Massage a few drops into the scalp, focusing on dry areas, and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes. Shampoo and condition as normal.
Bumps and Scrapes First Aid Roll-On
- 10 ml Amber Roll-On Bottle
- ⅓ oz of Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 5 drops of White Pine Essential Oil
- 5 drops of Helichrysum Essential Oil
- 5 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
Add all the ingredients to the roll on the bottle and shake well to combine. Roll on to minor cuts to help heal and prevent infection
Soothing Soak Sore Muscle Bath Bomb
- Witch Hazel Extract in a Misting Spray Bottle
- Hard Plastic or Metal Molds
- 2 cups of Citric Acid
- 4 cups of Baking Soda
- 2 oz of Sweet Almond Oil
- 10 drops of White Pine Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Black Pepper Essential Oil
Combine the citric acid, baking soda, sweet almond oil, and essential oils in a bowl and mix well using gloved hands. Spritz a small amount of witch hazel onto the top of the powder mixture and mix it in. Repeat this process until the mixture packs together easily with a similar texture to wet sand. Scoop the mixture into each mold one at a time and pack them down tightly. Allow them to dry for at least 24 hours. Drop one in a warm bath.
Fresh Shine Floor Cleaner Concentrate
- 16 oz Amber Glass Bottle
- 8 oz of Distilled Water
- 6 oz of Distilled White Vinegar
- 2 oz of Unscented Liquid Castile Soap
- 20 drops of White Pine Essential Oil
- 20 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and thoroughly stir to combine. Add to the bottle for storage. Add ½ cup of concentrate to a gallon of warm water and use to mop floors.