Longleaf Pine - Coastal Carolina University
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CCU Arboretum


Longleaf Pine

Common Name: Longleaf Pine

Scientific Name: Pinus palustris

Species Range: The longleaf pine is native to the southeastern United States spanning from southern Virginia to eastern Texas. It can be found growing in areas with some moisture in the growing, sandy soil, and on drier rocky ridges in Alabama and Georgia.

Growth Characteristics: This pine grows 80-100 feet in height and requires lots of sun and minimal shade. The needles on this evergreen tree are dark green, flexible, and can get up to 10-18 inches long. Its pinecones are ovoid to oblong and 6-10 inches long with scales that have a prickle that curves back towards the base of the scale.

Ecosystem Service Value:  The endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker uses the longleaf pine as a resource for food and shelter. Many other small birds and animals use this tree for food and shelter as well.

Uses, Other Details: The wood of this pine is strong, heavy, and durable. Because of this, the longleaf pine has been used for hundreds of years for building and construction. For this reason, many areas where the longleaf once stood are now occupied by loblolly pine and slash pine.

Identification Tips and Tricks: The longleaf pine can be easily distinguished from other pines just by looking at their pine needles and pinecones. The pine needles on this pine are very long as well as organized and fanned out to look like pompoms at the end of the branches. Their pinecones are large and rounded at the tip of the cone.

Species profile by Billie Rogers

References:

Kirkman, L. Katherine., et al. Native Trees of the Southeast: An Identification Guide. Timber Press, 2007.

“Longleaf Pine Pinus Palustris.” Arbor Day Foundation, www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?ItemID=1095. Retrieved November 8, 2020.