shortleaf pine
Pinus echinata

Shortleaf pine is an important commercial timber tree of the U.S. southeast. It is the least exacting of the the southern yellow pines regarding temperature and moisture. Shortleaf pine needles are 3 to 5 inches long, occuring in bundles of 2 or 3.

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Light Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Shortleaf pine is used for lumber, plywood, structural materials, and pulpwood.


Wildlife Value
      The seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals. Red-cockaded woodpecker nests in older trees afflicted with heartrot.
          Attracts: bobwhites, turkeys, red-cockaded woodpeckers, squirrels

Regeneration methods
      Shortleaf pine is shade intolerant. Clearcut and seed-tree methods work best. Shelterwoods and group selections have been used successfully by smaller landowners.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
little leaf disease stunted growth
Nantucket pine tip moth shoot dieback

Fun facts
Shortleaf is utilized for a variety of wood products. A unique feature of shortleaf is the ability of young trees to sprout following fire. This sprouting ability is due to the development of a pronounced j-shaped crook at or below the ground surface. In the “crook” numerous dormants develop which allow sprouting if the top is killed.
Pinus: Latin name for pine from Greek "pitus" / echinata: Greek "echinos" (a hedgehog, prickly - a reference to the cone scales)
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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