Western White Pine is an important timber tree which yields high quality, straight-grained wood of good dimensions and strength. It is used for interior construction and panelling, doors and windows of houses and plywood; other applications of the wood are furniture, matches and tooth picks. Matches have become a major application of the wood of smaller trees of this species produced in secondary growth forests. Its wood does not produce sugary exudates (resin containing a high content of saccharine) as in P. lambertiana, a closely related species of the American West. Western White Pine grows rapidly and can be easily regenerated after felling and grows straight up forming tall stems. As with P. lambertiana, its susceptibility to Western White Pine Blister Rust (Cronartium ribicola, Basidiomycota) makes it unsuitable as an exotic timber tree in Europe and other parts of the temperate climate zones where this pathogen occurs. It is present in a few arboreta and landscape parks, but uncommonly used in horticulture and only a few cultivars are known from this species.
References and further reading
- Hines S., Klopfenstein N.,Richardson B.,Warwell M. & Kim, Mee-Sook. 2013. Return of the king: Western white pine conservation and restoration in a changing climate. Science You Can Use Bulletin, Issue 4. Fort Collins, CO: Rocky Mountain Research Station. 10 p.
- Maloney, P.E., 2011. Incidence and distribution of white pine blister rust in the high‐elevation forests of California. Forest Pathology, 41(4), pp.308-316.
- Maloney, P.E., Eckert, A.J., Vogler, D.R., Jensen, C.E., Delfino Mix, A. and Neale, D.B., 2016. Landscape biology of western white pine: implications for conservation of a widely-distributed five-needle pine at its southern range limit. Forests, 7(5), 93.
- Nadeau, S., Godbout, J., Lamothe, M., Gros-Louis, M.C., Isabel, N. and Ritland, K., 2015. Contrasting patterns of genetic diversity across the ranges of Pinus monticola and P. strobus: A comparison between eastern and western North American postglacial colonization histories. American journal of botany, 102(8), 1342-1355