Native to western North America from British Columbia to California including in the interior mountain ranges.
There has been no provenance testing; seed sources from British Columbia or Washington should be suitable.
Grows on sites of poor to rich soil nutrient regime and of slightly dry to moist moisture status; the species tolerates slightly wetter and heavier soils than Weymouth pine. It is not suited to peats or alkaline soils. This is an early successional species of intermediate shade tolerance which naturally grows in mixture with silver firs and other pines. It is cold hardy throughout Britain but is not tolerant of exposure.
Pests and pathogens
This species is vulnerable to white pine blister rust. Heterobasidion (Fomes root and butt rot) is also considered to be an important pathogen of western white pine.
Very few forest plots have been established in Britain. The continuing risk from white pine blister rust means that the species should only be planted on a small scale and preferably in mixture.
Western white pine is categorised as a Specimen-stage species. These are species that have not been trialled for forest potential in experimental plots, but have demonstrated sufficient positive traits of good form, growth rate and hardiness as specimens in tree collections to warrant further testing in plots on a limited scale.