Pine Forest

What Am I Looking At?

You are looking at a mature stand of eastern white pines. Did you know that they can live up to 400 years? Though the eastern white pine used to cover most of the Northeast, due to logging and fires, only 1% of the original trees still remain.

What animals do you think live here?

This is a great location for squirrels, chipmunks, voles, and mice because they eat pine needles and the seeds from the pine cones. White-tailed deer, as well as some rabbits, like to snack on the young pine saplings.

But don’t only look on the ground. Many birds, like the black-capped chickadee, pine warbler, yellow-bellied sapsucker, and white-breasted nuthatch, like to eat the seeds. Many other birds like to nest in these tall trees. Occasionally you can find a porcupine or two who enjoy living in coniferous forests!

Maine and its love for the eastern white pine:

  • Maine’s nickname is the Pine Tree State.
  • The pine tree appears on our state flag representing the state’s natural richness.
  • Maine’s state flower is the pine cone and tassel. It was selected over goldenrod, and the apple blossom by the people of Maine in 1895.
  • The eastern white pine tree is Maine’s state tree.
  • Great Britain depleted much of the white pine in Maine for building their wooden ships and used the tall straight trees for the masts.
  • The eastern white pine is native to all counties in Maine.

Eastern white pines are identified by having long thin needles, five needles to a bunch. Other pines such as a red pine and jack pine only have two.
Whitetail Deer Tracks
Courtesy Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

What's Next?

Many things indicate the well-being of a habitat. Biodiversity (lots of different types of living things) is just one of them. Listen for the birds and see how many different types of birds you can hear.