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Pinus palustris P. Mill.
Longleaf pine, Georgia pine
USDA Symbol: PIPA2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Longleaf pine is an 80-100 ft. tree with short, stout, spare branches forming an open, irregular crown. A new level of branches is added each year. Long, bright green needles, the longest of any eastern North American pine, occur in dense bundles of three. The cones are also the largest of any pine in eastern North America. Mature specimens provide high, airy, fragrant canopies. Seedlings pass through a grass stage for a few years, in which the stem grows in thickness rather than height and the taproot develops rapidly. Later, the elongating, unbranched stem produces very long needles, which give a bunchgrass-like appearance when theyre still close to the ground.
Frequent fires caused by man or by lightning have perpetuated subclimax, pure stands of this species and in the past helped maintain a distinct Southeastern ecosystem known as Longleaf Pine Savannah, which once covered a vast area from eastern Texas to the Atlantic coast in park-like groves of massive specimens, plus associated, fire-adapted plants like Pineland Three-Awn (Aristida stricta). Longleaf Pine is a leading world producer of naval stores. The trees are tapped for turpentine and resin and then logged for construction lumber, poles and pilings, and pulpwood.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape:
Dark Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Brown
Bloom Time: Jan , Dec
AL , AR , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , TX , VA Native Distribution:
Coastal Plain from s.e. VA to c. FL & w. to e. TX Native Habitat:
Open, dry habitats; sand ridges; coastal plains USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Deep, coarse, sandy soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Acid-based.
Conditions Comments: This stately pine tolerates seasonally poor drainage and is resistant to fusiform rust, a serious disease of other pines. Longleaf is a slow-growing pine.
Sow fresh, untreated seed in late fall. Seed Collection:
Collect cones from vigorous trees in late summer and fall just before they completely open to drop seeds. Spread cones on racks to dry so they will release seeds. Cones may be shaken to release seeds. Store at a moisture content of 5-10 %
fresh weight. Commercially Avail:
Prevent complete soil dryness, Prune to maintain shape, Remove dead growth, Fertilize 3 times a year with lawn fertilizer 3:1:2 ratio
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Record Modified: 2010-05-04
Research By: TWC Staff