pitch pine
Pinus rigida

Pitch pine is an eastern species commonly found on infertile, dry sites. Interestingly, it can also perform well on wetter sites. Pitch pine is considered to be one of the most productive timber pines on poorer sites. Pitch pine needles are 2 1/2 to 5 inches long, occuring in bundles of 3.

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Light Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Pitch pine wood is resinous and therefore resistant to rot. It is used for ship building, rough construction,, mine props, fencing, railroad ties, crating, pulpwood, and fuelwood.


Wildlife Value
      Seeds are eaten by small mammals and birds. Rabbits and deer browse young sprouts and seedlings.
          Attracts: squirrels, rabbits, deer, quail, pine warblers, pine grosbeaks, chickadees

Regeneration methods
      Intolerant of shade, pitch pine must be regenerated by clearcuts, seed trees, or spacious shelterwoods. Competition from hardwoods should be kept in check. Pitch pine recovers from injury well and produces stump sprouts.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
tip moths die back of growing tips

Fun facts
Pitch pine is extremely resistant to fire and injury, and is one of few pines that readily sprouts back after disturbance (especially fires). The vast pine barrens of New Jersey is almost exclusively composed of pitch pine.
Pinus: Latin name for pine from Greek "pitus" / rigida: rigid (leaves)
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu