Maine’s nickname is the Pine Tree State, an obvious marker of pine trees’ ubiquity here. The white pine is the official Maine State Tree,  and arguably the most famous of Maine’s pine tree species. White pines will grow to be between 50 and 80 feet tall and have needles in clusters of five. The tree’s bark is green when they are young, but darkens as they age. They can grow in high altitude environments where they are exposed to wind, but like most trees they grow best with plenty of sun and moisture.

White pines have a history of being used for lumber. They were especially useful for ship masts because of their height and straightness. Britain’s Royal Navy would exploit this usefulness during the British rule of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, with especially tall and straight white pines being named  as “King’s Pines.”  They were marked with a blaze called the King’s Broad Arrow, and became reserved for the Navy.

There are many white pine trees on my family’s property, the most prominent of which we have named Tim, a behemoth that towers above the surrounding forest and can be seen for miles. A tree like this must be over a century old, and it’s fascinating to imagine what the landscape around it looked like when it first took root. The lucky and resilient few trees to live this long have a special connection to the past. Though having no knowledge or memory of it, they have stood still as the world shifts around them.


ReVision Energy in Montville will be accepting donations for Toys for Tots. The event is sponsored by the United States Marine Corps and has been ongoing for the past three years. If you wish to donate, please bring new unwrapped toys to 825 Acadia Highway, on Route 3 across from Maritime Energy. Please call Tom Carter ahead of time to arrange a pickup or to meet at the front door at 480-5336.