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David Beaulieu

Eastern White Pine Trees: The Downside

By November 3, 2011

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I usually smile favorably upon the presence of evergreens,pine such as eastern white pine trees, in the landscape. Especially during northern winters, when I'm desperate for some landscape color. But whenever my region experiences a bad ice storm, I am reminded, once again, of a downside to having large eastern white pine trees around.

You see, large eastern white pine trees just don't mix well, in the wintertime, with wires and driveways. During ice storms, their evergreen foliage holds an enormous amount of ice -- too much for the weak limbs of eastern white pine trees to bear. The result: the limbs come crashing down, taking out whatever's under them. If it's a telephone wire, you'll end up needing repair service from the phone company. If it's a vehicle, you'll be cursing eastern white pine trees whenever you see them thereafter!

This year, I was one of many impacted by the freak pre-Halloween snowstorm in the Northeastern U.S. It was a wet snow, and as the weight accumulated on tree boughs, they began snapping. Because of the time of year -- namely, when the deciduous trees still have their leaves -- it was not just the evergreens that succumbed to the onslaught. Branches from maple trees and other fall foliage specimens came crashing down, too, knocking out everyone's power for days. In fact, it's only by virtue of my laptop that I'm able to post this blog message to you today!

Photo ©2007 David Beaulieu (licensed to About.com)

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