These Eastern white pines, Ontario's provincial tree, were planted in 1972 by GRCA to establish the tree cover needed to protect Guelph’s underlying aquifers. Allowing the forest to repopulate itself naturally would have taken decades, so the fast-growing Eastern white pine was planted as a “short-cut” measure. This short-cut forest has been so successful that the pines now need to be thinned to allow species diversification in order to enhance the health of the forest and its value to humans and wildlife.
The Eastern white pine has played an economically prominent role in Canada. In times past, it was harvested for ship masts, and it has long been valued as a source of lumber, pine tar and other tree products. It has also served as a source of food and medicine for various First Nations peoples.
Did you know that an equal weight of Eastern white pine needles contains five times as much vitamin C as a lemon?
To learn more about this versatile tree, go to www.lrconline.com/Extension_Notes_English/pdf/wht_pn.pdf
The Starkey Hill Interpretive Trail is jointly managed by the Guelph Hiking Trail Club and the Grand River Conservation Authority