What Is the State Tree of Maine? How Was It Decided?
Maine is often called the pine tree state, making it no surprise that the Eastern White Pine is the official state tree of Maine. This tree is so important in the state that its pine cone is even considered the state flower, despite not being a flower at all. You don’t have to look too hard to find these giant trees in Maine.
For a more in-depth look at the Eastern White Pine as Maine’s state tree, scroll down.
The Eastern White Pine – The State Tree of Maine
For decades, Maine has been called The Pine Tree State. Because it is located so far north, the state is home to one of the highest populations of pine trees. One of its most beloved trees is the Eastern White Pine, Pinus strobus. It is the official state tree of Maine, and it can be found all throughout the state.
When Did Maine Select the Eastern White Pine as Its State Tree?
The importance of the Eastern White Pine in Maine dates all the way back to the 1600s. By 1893, the World’s Fair was hosted in Chicago. The World’s Fair requested all state legislators to send flower representations for the National Garland of Flowers, which would be displayed at the show.
Most states automatically sent their official state flower, but Maine did not have one yet. As a result, they decided to send the Eastern White Pine Cone as the representative flower for the state. Although the pine cone is not an actual flower, it still was a great representation and was accepted.
Two years later, the state voted to make the Eastern White Pine Cone and tassel the official state floral emblem of Maine. The pine cone has remained the state flower since then.
At the time, there was no state tree to represent Maine. In fact, Maine did not have an official state tree until 1945. This year, the state legislature decided that the Eastern White Pine should be the state tree due to its economic and cultural importance in the state. The Eastern White Pine remains the official tree of Maine today.
About the Eastern White Pine
The Eastern White Pine has played a huge role in Maine’s development. Since 1605, the tree has been used for shipbuilding and other economic purposes. This economic interest in the tree resulted in a lot of economic and cultural development within the future state.
Not only that, but the Eastern White Pine is simply breathtaking and is the focus of many cultural stories and legends. It grows in open areas and grows to be incredibly tall. Most are 70–80 feet tall, but the older ones have been known to reach 100 feet tall, making it impossible to miss this tree.
The specifics of the tree are breathtaking. The leaves are bluish-green needles that are white on one side. These needles are flexible and can grow between three and five inches long. There are also pine cones, both male and female. The male pine cones are small and drop quickly, but the females can stay on the tree for years and are large.
Due to the economic and cultural importance of the tree, not to mention its breathtaking appearance, it’s no shock that the state voted for the Eastern White Pine to be its official state tree.
Once again, the Eastern White Pine is the state tree of Maine. Although it was only voted as the official tree in 1945, this tree has long been an important emblem of the state. It’s so important, in fact, that its pine cone is the floral emblem of the state, despite not being a flower.
Featured Image Credit: Than Sapyaprapa, Shutterstock