Thursday, May 14, 2020
Longleaf Pine - Pinus palustris
Longleaf Pine - Pinus palustris often reaches heights of more than 80 feet tall and generally no more then 2.5 feet in diameter. It is a tall straight conifer with an irregularly shaped open crown with widely scattered limbs. The open canopy has as much daylight present as it does branches. Large buds growing on branch ends are covered with silvery scale. The trunk is long, straight and limb free. Seedlings go through a grass stage where it is simply a single short stalk topped with a mop like tuft of long needles. Peeling back the the bark surface will reveal a clay brown to rust red color inner bark.
Image Citation: David Stephens, Bugwood.org
The needles of the Longleaf Pine are noticeably long, measuring 10-16 inches, growing in bundles of three. The cones of the Longleaf Pine are the largest of any Pine in the area reaching sizes of 6-10 inches long. The winged seeds drop out of the cones each Fall.
(Stand of Young Longleaf Pines) Image Citation: David Stephens, Bugwood.org
Longleaf Pine has many marketable products. It is considered to be a premier lumber tree and is harvested in many different types of markets. Longleaf Pine Needles are raked, baled and sold as Pine Straw Mulch. In earlier days even the Sap was collected and used in making Turpentine and other chemical compounds. The large Cones are even collected and sold to craftsmen.
(Longleaf Pine cone) Image Citation: Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
The natural range for the Longleaf Pine covers the piedmont and coastal plains regions of Southeastern Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Eastern Texas. Regionally it is also called Georgia Pine, Hard Pine, Heart Pine, Southern Yellow Pine or Yellow Pine.