Pinus strobus 'Stowe Pillar' / Stowe Pillar eastern white pine

Pinus strobus 'Stowe Pillar' is a very narrow columnar form of eastern white pine — purportedly even narrower 'Fastigata'. It's tight branching makes it more resistant than the species to breaking under heavy, wet snow load. Ideal for tight spaces or as a vertical element that is less dense or rigid than the junipers or Chamaecyparis cultivars that often serve that purpose. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 8 to 12 feet (2.5 - 4 m) tall and 1-third as wide, an annual growth rate of around 12 inches (30 cm).

Despite reports of stronger-than-typical branching, a consistent program of candling and pruning will help to keep the plant "in bounds" and even more resistant to splaying under a load of ice and snow. This practice will also prevent the development of a preponderance of bare branches as plants age.

This cultivar originated as a unique form on a tree found growing in the wild by Greg Williams of Kate Brook Nursery, Wolcott, Vermont, which is not far from the well-known ski resort, Stowe Mountain.

Pinus strobus 'Stowe Pillar,' an approximately 7-year old specimen photographed in Brunswick, ME
Photo by Sean Callahan
Stowe Pillar, cones. Note the acute angle of the branching.
Photo by Sean Callahan
Pinus strobus 'Stowe Pillar', new growth.
Photo by Sean Callahan
Pinus strobus 'Stowe Pillar,' an approximately 7-year old specimen photographed in Brunswick, ME
Photo by Sean Callahan

Comments

Cat

Why do some of these specimens look skeletal while others look full?

David Olszyk

that is an excellent question! It's all about how the plant is maintained. In order to keep this type of plant tight and full, it's necessary to shorten candles every spring and prune away the strongest terminal branchlets every late summer / early fall.