Eastern White Pine Versatility in the Presettlement Forest

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Eastern White Pine Versatility in the Presettlement Forest

Post by Lucas » Thu May 19, 2016 11:46 am

Eastern White Pine Versatility in the Presettlement Forest

https://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/c ... 1/967.full


https://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/c ... l.pdf+html

pdf version

I stumbled over this.

FYI maybe, of interest?
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir


Re: Eastern White Pine Versatility in the Presettlement Fore

Post by Joe » Thu May 19, 2016 2:03 pm

No mention of the fact that in many areas, the species is severely damaged by the white pine weevil- causing a great economic loss- though I wouldn't expect ecologists to appreciate that fact.

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Re: Eastern White Pine Versatility in the Presettlement Fore

Post by Don » Fri May 20, 2016 2:32 am

Not having studied eastern white pines extensively, I wondered if eastern white pine was affected by white pine blister rust. In the west, it was devastating and I recall as high school aged visitor to Yosemite, hearing about the eradication of gooseberry and currant plants, in an effort to halt the mortality in white pines.
With a little internet search, I came up with the following snippet from:
which had in part the following:
East vs. West
"The disease is widespread in the Northeast but generally not abundant or severe. It seems clear that disease incidence is much lower than it was in the decades following its invasion of the Northeast. For instance, disease incidence in New Hampshire ranged from 20 to 80% of trees around 1950, but in 1999 was just 0.3 to 7.2% by region (®). Possible explanations include:
The initial wave of disease invasion provided strong selection for significant, existing resistance in populations of eastern white pine.
At that time, substantial proportions of the white pine were in young age classes, when infection and mortality may be more likely. Today more eastern white pine stands in the area are mature.
Ribes spp. may be less common today than earlier, both because of forest developmental changes (increased cover and density) and because the Ribes eradication program in the Northeast may have been more effective and with longer-lasting effects than in the West.
Climate might explain low incidence in the Northeast. Which part of the life cycle is most sensitive to climatic conditions? Basidiospore dispersal and infection. When does it occur? Late summer and early fall. These tend to be times of fairly low humidity in those areas. Early fall is a pretty good time for humans, fair and sunny. There may be rain, but not long periods of cool moist conditions. Rain in and of itself is not that great because spores can't disperse very far during rain. Foggy, wet conditions are good.
In parts of the West, suitable conditions are more common. WPBR is definitely more of a problem there. In many areas, it puts the kibosh on management and sustainability of white pines, which are highly desirable and ecologically important species."

It would seem that eastern white pine's versatility may be put to the test with significant change in climate...
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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Re: Eastern White Pine Versatility in the Presettlement Fore

Post by dbhguru » Fri May 20, 2016 7:59 am


Between white pine blister rust and white pine weevil, the role of white pine as the super timber tree of the Northeast crashed decades ago. A large amount of the white pine that has now grown back in old fields here in New England is seriously damaged from the @#^&*% weevil. Contorted trunks are often the rule in old pastured areas. However, there are also lots of small stands and scatterings that show minimal weevil damage. I don't know what the percentages are or the trends, but I still see the weevil as a big problem. I'm sure Joe can speak authoritatively to this.

Robert T. Leverett
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Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre


Re: Eastern White Pine Versatility in the Presettlement Fore

Post by Joe » Fri May 20, 2016 8:59 am

The weevil is in most stands in Mass. but not in some. I suggest that high grading has made it worse- since they left the weeviled trees. The only way to rid the forests of weeviled pines- and those "cabbage pines" that grow into old pastures is by a biomass market- which is now verboten in Massachusetts.

It's been argued, probably correctly, that the best way to avoid it on a good pine site (good soils but well drained) is to cut the current stand fairly heavy- a shelterwood cut- which will result in very heavy pine regeneration. Then, don't thin the stand until the trees are 40-50' tall since, for some reason, they prefer to infest pines that are 15-30' tall. In the Berkshires, I argued against shelterwood harvesting because it doesn't make sense there- with very rich soils, it's better for multi species, all age types with "good hardwoods" dominating. But now that I live in the central Mass. area with relatively infertile soils which are mostly very well drained- I've seen the results of good shelterwood harvesting- where the pines will come in so thick you can hardly walk through the forest. When this thick, even if a pine is weeviled, the side branches will produce a new leader with only a small crook in the tree- and by having so many pines, even if half are weeviled- those can be thinned out and you can then grow a nice pine forest free from weevil. However, just recently, the chair of the Mass. Forestry Association, argued that "landowners have a right to high grade". But of course, no forest owner ever asked to have his/her forest high graded- this supposed right is just the right of loggers to high grade! I expect loggers to say this, but not forestry "leaders".

Unfortunately, trying to market those less desirable pines is going to be difficult without a biomass market- or a pulp market. The pulp market in New England is rapidly dying off. We must have markets for low value wood to do good silviculture.

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