This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
In this species we have a near approach to our White Pine (Pinus strobus), as well as to the European species, Pinus cembra, but the latter tree is also found in Northern Asia. The leaves of the three species are five in a sheath, and in many characteristics they Agree. Their chief points of distinction are these: cembra is much slower in growth than either of the others, and has shorter foliage; excelsa has much longer foliage than either, more glaucous, and hangs gracefully from the branches; the shoots and branches are stouter and more vigorous, and it is by far the most graceful and beautiful of the three. This Pine proves perfectly hardy in the Middle States. I have seen specimens which have withstood several winters without the slightest protection. Dr. Griffith describes this species as being common in Bhotan, forming large and beautiful woods on Southern aspects, next above P. longifolia, and below Abies Smithiana, or from 6,000 to 10,000 feet. Major E. Madden says: "Between the Shatool Pass and Panwee, as well as below Chansoo, in Koonawur, there are magnificient forests, containing many trees certainly not under 150 feet." Writing on altitude, Major E. Madden observes: "We may therefore fix on 5,000 and 12,140 feet above the sea line as the extreme limits of this species." It is very extensively distributed through Bhotan and many other parts of the Himalayas, As this pine is now. becoming plentiful and is sold cheap it should be extensively planted.