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There is something special about eastern white pine (Pinus strobus).  It is some combination of its rich history in making America, the beauty of the tree growing among other white pine or mixed with hardwoods, the softness of the foliage, and its ability to colonize disturbed sites and grow, in some cases, to awesome size and produce hundreds of feet of useful timber.  In NY, the volume of eastern white pine growing stock has increased from 1823.8 M.cu.ft in 1993 to more than 2000 M.cu.ft in 2004 (http://www.fs.fed.us/ne/fia/states/ny/index.html). 

 


There has been a sizable shift in the distribution of that volume with increased volume in the larger diameter classes from 1993 to 2004.  The volume of board feet in the largest diameter classes (see the FIA website above for 2004, table 8, and 1993 table 31) describes increases in all the larger diameter classes.  Perhaps worth further investigation is that the smallest sawtimber size classes show a decline.  This may be an artifact of less agricultural abandonment in recent decades providing less land area for white pine colonization.  The reduction in the sawtimber volumes of the smaller diameter classes might also be associated with changes in harvesting practices that may not be creating the more open sunny environments needed by eastern white pine to reproduce and grow.

For those interested in learning more about the growth and survival of eastern white pine, see the recent story from the Univ. of MN  and "My Minnesota Woods" via this link http://www.myminnesotawoods.umn.edu/2011/10/a-landowners-guide-to-i...   Although the story and information come from Minnesota, the concepts should apply nicely to many of the white pine stands in New York.

 

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