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Tuesday - July 14, 2009

From: Troy, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: What is the growth rate of the table mountain pine in zone 6 & 7?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


How fast growing is the table mountain pine in Zones 6 and 7 in the Appalachians? What is the growth rate?


The Table Mountain pine Pinus pungens (Table Mountain pine) is endemic to the Appalachians, and occupies xeric sites of Appalachian rocky and shaly mountainous areas from Georgia into Pennsylvania  It is frequently found on ridges of gorges that dissect the Blue Ridge Mountains, and is characterized as a slow growing species. I have not found information dealing with its growth rate specifically, but here are two articles that concern its growth, habitat, and response to fire.

This article from the USDA Forest Service estimates the maximum possible age of Table Mountain Pine to be 250 years, and a maximum height of 95 ft and maximum diameter of 37 inches d.b.h. have been reported. In studies of regeneration of trees from fire, they report that seedlings grow well, forming a dense sapling stand that attains its  maximum groth rate at about age thirty when the trees are about 7 inches d.b.h., but after that, growth is extremely slow.

This second Forest Service article deals with the distribution and occurrence, its botanical and ecological characteristics, and management considerations.

An additional note of interest; it is the Lonesome Pine in John Fox's 1908 novel "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine", and the song by the same name popularized by Laurel and Hardy.




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