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Pinus palustris

Pronunciation: Py-nus pal-us-triss
Family: Pinaceae (pine family)
Common Name: Longleaf pine, southern yellow pine, heart pine, southern pine
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 100'
Width to: 3'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The needles and cones of longleaf pine are larger than in other pines: needles 12-18 in (30-46 cm) in length, and cones 7-10 in (18-25 cm) long. The needles are borne in tufts at the tips of stout branchlets. Longleaf pine is similar to slash pine (p. Elliottii) but has larger cones, and the very tips of the branchlets are an inch or more in diameter, whereas the branchlet tips in slash pine are a half inch or so in diameter
Plant Perks:
  • Drought Tolerant
Propagation: On average, longleaf pines produce an abundant seed crop once every 5-7 years. Seeds that fall on bare mineral soil germinate quickly, but the seedlings remain in the grass stage for several years. Young trees will not mature unless a gap is created and they are "released" from the shade of the larger pines.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - longleaf pine was the most important of the southern pines. It was the source of naval stores used to waterproof ships and sails. Early settlers burned longleaf heartwood or "lightered pine" in shallow pits and collected the boiling pitch in sunken barrels. Tar was extracted from the pitch, and those involved came to be called "tarheels", a nickname much beloved in north carolina. Near the end of the 18th century, the settlers learned how to tap living longleaf pine trees (much like sugar maples) for the gum which was distilled into turpentine and rosin. Longleaf pine heartwood, immune to decay and termites, was used for all kinds of construction, and many buildings made of longleaf pine heartwood decades and even centuries ago are still standing throughout the southeast. By the end of the 1920's, the virgin longleaf pines were gone, and the timber industry moved to the pacific northwest. Today second growth longleafs are harvested for lumber, but they are not large or old enough to have useful heartwood. A small turpentine industry still collects longleaf sap for specialized uses (like oil painting), but most turpentine and related products are synthesized from crude oil.
Located in: Seed Photos
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