White Pine is North Platte Tree Board tree of the season

This white pine, at 820 West B St., owned by Jack and Lisa Crum, is the North Platte Tree Board’s tree of the season.

This common White Pine tree, at 820 West B St., brightens the street scene as one drives west from Jeffers Street. The deciduous trees of winter still stand leafless against the sky, but the soft blue-green of this conifer is a treat to the eye.

It is a fast-growing tree, having doubled its height in the 8 years since Jack and Lisa Crum moved there. The older, lower few feet of it is thick and rough, but the younger growth is thin, grayish and smooth. The needles are 3 to 5 inches long, light, bluish-green, soft, straight and slender.

It can prosper in the Midwest, as long as it gets plenty of moisture in well-drained soil. This species won’t produce pinecones until it is 20 to 30 years old. In September and October, this pine “sheds“ all of its needles that grew out the previous year.

This is only one of about three of this species to grow in North Platte, but may do well because of our high water table. Fun fact: The needles of this White Pine can be dried and ground into smaller bits for tea. They contain a wealth of nutrients.

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