Longleaf pine is common to the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains of the U.S. southeast. It is adaptable to both wet and dry soil conditions, and is useful for both timber and wildlife purposes. Longleaf needles are very long, 8 to 18 inches, and occur in bundles of 3.
Longleaf pine is shade intolerant; clearcuts and seed-tree methods work best. Shelterwoods and group selections also work, but growth of saplings is slower. Control of competition is recommended.
Longleaf pine is associated with drier sites and sandy acid soils or on flats that have a hardpan. Commonly found on sites subject to fire.
A medium sized to large tree capable of reaching over 100 feet in height, with a straight trunk, coarse branches and tufted needles at ends of branches.
Longleaf pine is used for construction lumber, plywood, poles, and pulpwood, distilled chemical extracts (naval stores), and "pine straw," an ornamental mulch.
Many species feed on the seeds. Rabbits, gophers, and hogs graze seedlings. Mature longleaf pines are choice habitat for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.
Attracts deer, squirrels, gophers, rabbits, various birds such as quail, turkeys, and red-cockaded woodpeckers.
Insects and Diseases
Longleaf seedlings sit in a fire resistant grass stage for several years, during which time they develop a deep tap root. Upon emerging from the grass stage, growth is rapid. Once much more abundant, longleaf pine has had its range greatly reduced by logging and land clearing.
Pinus: Latin name for pine from Greek "pitus" / palustris: of swamps - Latin "palus" (swamp)
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