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Longleaf PinePinus palustris

  • Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra
  • Longleaf Pine
  • Longleaf Pine
The Longleaf Pine trunk has scaly, coarse, light, orange-brown bark with upright branches forming an oval, open crown. The flexible, dark green needles are up to 18" long, and the large, spiny cones are up to 10" long and may persist on the tree for two years. For the first five to seven years, the pine stays in a tufted, grass-like stage after germination, growing slowly while the root system develops. Following the grass stage, it grows at a medium to fast rate. The inch long clusters of new growth are silver white during the winter. The roots are sensitive to disturbance during construction.

Hardiness Zones

The longleaf pine can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 7–10. View Map

Tree Type

This is an evergreen tree, keeping its foliage year-round.

Mature Size

The longleaf pine grows to a height of 60–80' and a spread of 30–40' at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium to Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a medium to fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13" to more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The longleaf pine grows in alkaline, loamy, rich and clay soils. It is drought-tolerant once established.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Features flexible dark green needles that are up to 18" long and typically in fascicles of 3.
  • Produces ovoid-oblong brown cones that are 6–10" long and up to 5" wide at the base.
  • Develops scaly, coarse, light, orange-brown bark.
  • Grows in an oval shape with upright branches and an open crown.

Wildlife Value

This tree provides food and cover for wildlife, including the now-endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Squirrels, quails, brown-headed nuthatches and turkeys eat the seeds.