White Pine Notecard
$3.00 – $22.00
Back of Card DESCRIPTION
White Pine (Pinus strobus)
The Eastern White Pine is the tallest tree species that grows in the East. It can grow to heights over 220 feet. For a building material it has no peers; it was so prized by early lumbermen that it became the only tree species, historically, that was the goal of exploration. The location of prime white pine stands along rivers were soon followed by small settlements.
White pine is a highly adaptable species and ranges widely from Northern Maine and central Ontario to Minnesota southward to Georgia. By 1910 it was nearly wiped out commercially. Due to overharvesting, by the end of the nineteenth century clear white pine lumber was a rarity.
Though the vast virgin stands of tall white pine of the past centuries are gone, the tree has made a great comeback throughout most of its former range. It is an aggressive pioneer species that readily invades old fields and forest openings. Stands of old growth white pine are extremely rare, but a few small uncut patches still survive in preserves. Hartwick Pines State Park in Michigan and Heart’s Content Preserve in Pennsylvania are two fine such examples.
The white pine tree is known as the Great Tree of Peace to the members of the six nations of the Haudensaunee Confederacy: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora Nations. The first five of the six nations were guided by the Peacemaker to come together in peace and bury their arrows beneath the white pine.
The Haudenosaunee believe peace is a state of mind obtained through a strong connection to spirit. “Our Elders teach us that practicing the Good Mind will cause our spirit to grow, known as Orenda. Good Minds have strong Orenda which leads to Peace. And with arrows burried, The concept of the Good Mind teaches us to be aware of our thoughts and their intent, resulting in more kind and loving thoughts.” -from Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, NY.
Few things are as soothing and peaceful as listening to the wind blowing through the boughs of great tall white pine trees. In the forest they grow to well above the rest of the canopy when mature. In their habit, grace, and beauty they stand majestic and seem to hold council over all the other trees of the Eastern forests.
artwork by Steve Sierigk © 2003
original text by Michael DeMunn