Standing tall in the forest with its soft bright green needles, which seem to stand out so much more against the snow, the Eastern White Pine is a favourite tree in High Park. This tree has so much to give and because of that, has important relationships with many different species. Starting off with humans, the Eastern White Pine is an essential timber tree. The wood is often used for construction, handcrafts, cabinetry and furniture-making. It doesn’t end here, the resin from this tree also has beneficial healing properties and can be used as an antiseptic to treat wounds and certain illnesses. Even the needles can be boiled to make some delicious “White Pine Needle Tea.” Humans are not the only species that find this tree important. The Eastern White Pine is a vital source of food and shelter for many different birds and mammals. Whether it’s wood, medicine, shelter, or food, this amazing tree is truly one of nature’s gifts that keeps on giving.
Fun fact: A great way to remember this tree is that the needles grow in clusters of 5, and there are 5 letters in the word “White.”