White Pine and the American Revolution

The Eastern White Pine is the tallest Pine in North America, with a crucial historical role in the American Revolution. Growing straight to heights of 150 to 240 feet, and yielding lumber that was light, strong, machinable, and resistant to rot. It was popular for a range of uses, from residential to commercial and countless day-to-day items. Eastern White Pine truly shaped early America…and it’s Revolution.
Eastern White Pine became the choice material for ship masts and other critical shipbuilding components. To maintain its Empire, Great Britain needed the strongest and fastest ships and Eastern White Pine made these vessels a battle force.
As a result, King George I wanted to ensure that the very best of these trees were kept for the British Navy. The tallest White Pines were emblazoned with a mark that became known as the King’s Broad Arrow, a move that rankled colonists.
The Revolutionary War was provoked by many factors, but some historians believe that denial of use of the Eastern White Pine was at least as instrumental as taxation of tea in bringing about the American Revolution. In fact, the Eastern White Pine was the emblem emblazoned on the first colonial flag. Adapted from The King’s Broad Arrow and the Eastern White Pine at http://www.nelma.org

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