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Mr. Smarty Plants - Identification of pines on I35 between Dallas and Denton

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Tuesday - May 03, 2011

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Identification of pines on I35 between Dallas and Denton
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I frequently drive I-35E from Dallas up to Denton and I've often wondered if the pine trees that I see near the road and in the surrounding areas, especially between Lewisville and Denton, have been planted or are a native population. Traveling past them at 60MPH, they all appear to be the same species and randomly spaced so I doubt that they have been planted. If they are a native species, could you tell me which one? Thanks!

ANSWER:

I can't be absolutely sure since I haven't seen them, but I feel pretty certain the pines are Pinus elliottii (Slash pine).  In Shinners and Mahler's Illusrated Flora of North Central Texas, on page 206-207, this is what they say about P. elliottii:

"Cultivated and used in reforestation; spreading from cultivation on sandy soils in Hood Co. in West Cross Timbers, also spreading on sandy soils in Denton and Tarrant cos. (R. O'Kennon, per. obs.); mainly se and e TX; native as far w as Louisiana."

It is the only pine shown occurring in Denton, Tarrant and Hood counties in Billie L. Turner's et al. Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas, vol. 2.

You might try contacting someone in one of the nearby chapters of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) to confirm this (e.g., Trinity Forks Chapter in Denton, Dallas Chapter).


Pinus elliottii


Pinus elliottii

 

 

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Bibliography

Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas (2003) Turner, B. L.; H. Nichols; G. Denny; O. Doron

Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F. Mahler; L. H. Shinners

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