State nicknames are funny things. Although these nicknames may seem a little modern or forced, many of the nicknames have been around for hundreds of years. This is particularly true for New England states such as Maine.
Why is Maine referred to as the "Pine Tree State"? It is estimated that Maine has over 17 million acres of forests. Pines have been through all of recorded history, the most predominant tree in Maine.
The Eastern White Pine was adopted as the Maine state tree in 1945. The White Pine can be found as far east as Newfoundland, as far West as Manitoba and as far south as Georgia. It is also known to the Native American Haudenosaunee as the "Tree of Peace".
The White Pine has also played an important role in Maine history. The tree was common, easy to cut, and produced mostly knot-free boards. The White Pine was therefore useful in the construction of buildings and ships. Sailing and lumbering continue to be important parts of Maine culture today.
For more information about the "Pine Tree State" plate, check out the link here.