longleaf pine
Pinus palustris

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.

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Light Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Longleaf pine is used for construction lumber, plywood, poles, and pulpwood, distilled chemical extracts (naval stores), and "pine straw," an ornamental mulch.


Wildlife Value
      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.

Regeneration methods
      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.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
brown spot needle blight (on seedlings) brown, enlarging spots or bands on needles; defoliation

Fun facts
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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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