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Pinus echinata (Shortleaf pine)
Cliffe, Harry

Pinus echinata

Pinus echinata Mill.

Shortleaf Pine, Shortleaf Yellow Pine, Southern Yellow Pine, Yellow Pine, Shortstraw Pine, Arkansas Pine, Longtag Pine, Spruce Pine, Oldfield Pine, Arkansas Soft Pine

Pinaceae (Pine Family)


USDA Symbol: piec2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The most widely distributed of the southern yellow pines, a large tree with broad, open crown. This is a 50-100 ft., sometimes taller, pine with short, spreading branches forming a pyramidal crown that opens with age. Leaves 2(-3) per fascicle, bright green, 3 to 5 in. Trunks of larger trees have broad, flat, reddish-brown plates.

Shortleaf Pine is native in 21 southeastern states. An important timber species, producing lumber for construction, millwork, and many other uses, as well as plywood and veneer for containers. This and other southern pines are the major native pulpwoods and leading woods in production of barrels. Seedlings and small trees will sprout after fire damage or injury.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Fascicled
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 130 feet tall.
Leaf: Leaves 2(-3) per fascicle; 3 to 5 inches.
Fruit: Reddish brown

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar


USA: AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: N. FL to e. TX, n. to NJ, WV, s. OH, KY & s.e. MO
Native Habitat: Dry, sandy, acidic soils of rocky, wooded ravines, bluffs & upland plains

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Dry, sandy soils. Acid-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam
Conditions Comments: This is the hardiest and most adaptable of the southern pines. It is very drought-tolerant and fairly slow-growing. It is troubled by Nantucket pine tip moth, fusiform rust, root-rot organisams, southern pine beetle and other deleterious insects.


Use Wildlife: Cover, Nesting site, Seeds-Small mammals, granivorous birds.
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Elfin butterfly.


Description: 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: yes
Maintenance: Prevent complete soil dryness, Prune to maintain shape, Remove dead growth, Fertilize 3 times a year with lawn fertilizer 3:1:2 ratio

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Evergreen plants safe for horses in Louisville, Kentucky
May 16, 2010
I have a horse farm in Louisville, Ky. I want to plant evergreen plants along the walls in front of the horse barns. What types of plants are not toxic to horses can I use? Thank you so much for all y...
view the full question and answer

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX


Bibref 766 - Dale Groom's Texas Gardening Guide (2002) Groom, D.
Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Pinus echinata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pinus echinata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pinus echinata


Record Modified: 2022-09-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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