White pine planting location

Asked October 23, 2016, 11:19 AM EDT

Hello. I am hoping you can answer some questions I have about white pines. I recently planted 3 baby white pines near the top of a slope which is about 3 feet tall. There is a small stream below (see pic - trees are in upper right). I am hoping that one of them will ultimately prosper. I am hoping that their root systems will help stop erosion of my driveway. My questions are: 1) Have I planted the trees too close to the slope such that their root systems will be less stable than they should be? I have a cabin located 35 feet to the right from the trees. If so, should I move the trees further from the slope and how far? 2) there is a water well in the vicinity of these trees. Is there risk that the roots could damage the well? 3) in another area I have buried power lines in the vicinity of some small white pines. Is it possible that the roots will cause a problem for the cables? Thank you very much for your help. Bob Ferderer 6 Billies Trail Lutsen, MN rjferde@hotmail.com

Cook County Minnesota

3 Responses

White pines need light moisture - not too much and not too little. Make sure your site is not too dry. 35 feet away from a structure is too close. They can fall in storms, and when they do, they do a lot of damage. It should be mature-tree height away from any structure (nearly 100 feet).

It is hard to tell from the photo how steep the hill is. White pines certainly survive on the tops of hills (but that makes it a lightning magnet). And although they grow faster in full sun, they are more prone to insects and disease. They do quite will in about 50% sunlight.

White pine's roots are not as aggressive as, say, a cottonwood's roots. But you didn't say how close the well is.
Here are two references:

Thank you very much for the response. it sounds like I should move the trees to a spot that's further from the cabin. Can you recommend a different type of tree that would help stop erosion but would be safer so close to the cabin?

For soil erosion, you might try a shrub or a native grass, since they would establish faster. Here is a good list:

When using a list like this, be very zone-aware. If you are near Lutsen, you could be anywhere from zone 4 to zone 2, depending on how far from the lake you are.