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5 Types of Pine Trees in Michigan (With Pictures)

Ancient Scots Pine Trees in Glen Nevis in the Scottish Highlands

There is no denying that needle-bearing trees are a thing of wonder. With their dark green color and sap-covered bark and pinecones, they play an important part in the ecosystem of the world. Michigan has a few common types of pine trees that span from the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula. Let’s have a look at the most common ones that grow in this beautiful Midwestern state.

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The 5 Different Types of Pine Trees in Michigan

1. Eastern White Pine

Eastern White Pine
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) – Killarney, Ontario 02 (Photo Credit By: Ryan Hodnett, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
USDA Hardiness Region: 3–8
Sun: Full sun or partial shade
Height: 50–80 feet

As Michigan’s state tree, it makes sense that you’d see plenty of Eastern White Pines here. This pine is extra hardy and perfect to use for a screen or windbreak. It has soft blue-green needles and can grow up to 80 feet tall with a 40-foot spread. This pine prefers growing in moist, well-draining soils and thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3–8. Each one grows at a quick rate of about 24 inches per year. Plus, they transplant easily and are the perfect choice for a Christmas tree during the holiday season.

2. Red Pine

Pinus Resinosa
Pinus Resinosa (Photo Credit By: Joshua Mayer, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic)
USDA Hardiness Region: 2–6
Sun: Full sun
Height: 50–80 feet

Another pine tree native to Michigan is the Red Pine. They are easy to identify by their bark and needle arrangement. The needles grow in bundles of two and are typically 4–6 inches long. The bark is often reddish-gray or reddish-orange with scaly, flakey plates. The cones from the tree are egg-shaped. These trees grow fast when they are young. While they usually only grow 50–80 feet high, some have towered as tall as 100 feet.

3. Jack Pine

Pinus banksiana
Pinus Banksiana (Photo Credit By: Superior National Forest, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)
USDA Hardiness Region: 2–6
Sun: Full or partial sun
Height: 30–70 feet

Yet another common pine tree you’ll spot when traveling through Michigan is the Jack Pine. These trees don’t demand too much time or attention. However, pests can sometimes be a problem, although it is less likely if they grow in a sunny location. These trees enjoy acidic soil and bloom in the spring. They usually feature a twisted growth pattern, giving them a unique and interesting look.

4. Scots Pine

scots pine
Image Credit: Coilin, Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region: 2–9
Sun: Full sun
Height: Up to 125 feet

This giant pine tree can reach 125 feet tall and 40 feet wide. This is Scotland’s national tree, although you won’t find a shortage of them in Michigan, either. It is a famously popular choice as a Christmas tree, and they have a lifespan of 100–300 years. The trunk is long and straight with flaking bark. The needles are usually 1–4 inches long and shed every 3 years.

5. Austrian Pine

Austrian Black Pine Pinus Nigra
Image Credit: Gerald Simon, Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region: 4–7
Sun: Full sun
Height: 40–60 feet

The final pine tree on our list is the Austrian Pine. These conifers are the perfect option for a city landscape. They withstand many challenging environmental conditions, such as pollution and salt in the air. On top of that, they’re simply beautiful. The bark matures to a dark gray color that contrasts against the dark green and fluffy-looking needles.

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There you have it! We have shown you five of the most popular types of pine trees in the Wolverine State. If you’re even traveling in the area, you’ll easily be able to spot and identify some of the pines on this list. Make sure to keep an eye out for the Eastern White Pine especially, just so you can fully appreciate the native species of the area.

Featured Image Credit: John A Cameron, Shutterstock


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