Having looked around the net I think the tree in the photos here is a Western White Pine - certainly the cone seems to suggest that - but the very long pendulous needles and the vivid purple flowers seem somewhat at odds with the other photos I've seen. To answer the question in the comment from Paul Nardini, mostly there are three needles per fascicle, though there are one or two that have four. I haven't noticed any with just two.

The tree is around 50-60 years old, in lowland Cambridgeshire, England, and as a whole is quite open in habit. The branches photographed here were around 2m (6.5 feet) off the ground; they droop to a considerable degree.

Pine tree - western white or something else?


2 Answers 2


I inquired further about this particular tree, and got a name: this is actually a Bhutan Pine, Pinus Wallichiana, as here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinus_wallichiana

Thought others might like to know :-)

  • Cones are the right shape but I cannot find a single picture with the purple parts.
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 16:35

Looks like 5 needles per fascicle? I blew it up and pretty sure this is a white pine...Pinus strobulus or close. I SEE 5 needles. Are you sure?

  • I never saw a white pine with that colour of cones.
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 22:22
  • Shoot, actually I have seen more rosy colored PRE cones? Did you see 5 needles, am I crazy? Otherwise, the sites with lots of pictures, look for the pendulous white pines with the longer needles. Hey I am NEVER sure of an ID unless I CAN TOUCH IT, grins. Why is everyone counting only 3 or 4 needles? AM I CRAZY?
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 22:57
  • stormy, I'm not 100% sure of 3/4: it could be 5 and I'm miscounting. If it were 5 how would that change things?
    – rivimey
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 8:33
  • Absolutely. Surely will help with ID. Nice pictures btw. Hey I could be wrong but I always start with my knee jerk reaction for IDing and go from there. Kinda weird, my brain remembers more than I do. Grins. One of the easiest methods to ID for pines are the numbers of needles. Very specific. Then cones then form, bark area native to...needle number per BUNCH is very important. White pines have 5 needles per...bunch.
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 8:46

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