White Pine Tree

Last week on a really hot, 90+ degree day we went for a walk at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, WA. We walked up the hill where the Hill Ward Memorial is located and traveled on a trail beyond the memorial. At the far end of the trail loop there is a large tree with a wooden bench shaded beneath it's branches. We sat on the bench enjoying resting in the shade and ate a picnic lunch we had carried with us. It was wonderfully breezy in that location, and the view is pretty as you can see the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in the distance.

The tree we sat beneath was fascinating, and we spent some time studying it, noticing its many branches, its sap, and its unique needles and cones.  We are only learning how to identify trees, but as far as I can tell it's a Western White Pine (pinus monticola). I'm not positive because it looks a lot like an Eastern White Pine, but that type of tree is not native to the western United States so that's why I'm assuming it's a Western White Pine.  For some reason I didn't think to take a picture of the whole tree, and next time I'll make a point to do that, including a picture of the top of the tree which should help in identifying the type of tree it is because according to this page, eastern white pines have a "crown of widely spreading branches" and western white pines have a "short-branched, narrow, yet symmetrical crown." 

I think under that tree is a special place.  My husband first showed it to me many years ago, and I'm looking forward to when our family can visit there again!

View to the left from the bench under the tree:

Eating our lunch on the bench:

Looking up the tree!

Its bark:

Its roots:

Its needles:

A pine cone found on the ground near the tree:

Pine cones found on the ground near the tree --
one that is not mature (the green one), 
and one that is mature (the brown one).
Notice the graffiti on the tree (ugh!)!

Cones hanging in the tree:

See how the cone is bent? White pines
have slightly curved cones. Also notice
that it has sap/pitch coming out of it.


  1. An interesting tree. I can see why a bench would be put under it. I've been trying to learn trees myself. There are a few in particular. I usually forget to get a picture of the whole tree too.

  2. Thanks, Ratty! I'm really enjoying learning about trees and other plants. It's as if the more I learn the more I can't wait to learn more, and I truly love being able to experience this with my children.


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