The Shortleaf Pine is a medium- to large-sized tree, indigenous to the eastern United States. The tree varies in form – sometimes straight, sometimes twisted with an asymmetrical crown. It can tolerate varied soil and site conditions and maintains steady growth rate for a long period.
|Other Names||Southern Yellow Pine, Oldfield pine, Shortstraw pine, Shortleaf Yellow Pine, Arkansas Soft Pine|
|Similar Species||Virginia Pine|
|Size||Height: 20-30 m (66–98 ft)
Trunk diameter: 0.5–0.9 m
|Leaves||Needle-shaped, mixed in bundles of two or three; 7-11 cm (2.8–4.3 in) long|
|Cones||4-7 cm (1.6–2.8 in) long, consists of thin scales with a transverse keel and a short prickle; it is persistent but, opens at maturity|
|Bark||Dark and scaly when young, turning reddish-brown with fragmented rectangular plates upon maturity, there are small resin pores on the plates; it is 2 to 3 cm (0.8 to 1.0 in) thick|
|Shape at Maturity||Crown is rounded to cone-shaped|
|Distribution/Range||New York State, northern Florida, eastern Oklahoma, eastern Texas|
|Growth Rate||Grows slower when young; later, it becomes steady|
|Lifespan||Around 200 years|
|Growing Conditions||Soil conditions: Grows well on drier, well-drained, and less fertile sites in full sun, requires low nutrients, does not grow well on soils with high calcium content, high pH, and poor soil aeration
Water requirements: Fairly drought resistant
Sunlight: Tolerates partial shade
|Diseases/Pests||Littleleaf disease, root rot, red heart; Nantucket pine tip moth, redheaded pine sawfly, loblolly pine sawfly, pitch-eating weevil, pales weevil|
|Flowering/Fruiting||Late March to late April|
|Seed Production||Bears seeds at around 20 years of age|
|Dispersal of Seeds||Late October to early November|
|Wildlife Value||Provides excellent nesting sites for woodpeckers and shelter to other species; deer graze on young sprouts while some animals feed on the seeds; the shortleaf pine forests aid in preventing sandy soil from erosion|
|Uses||Good source of wood pulp, lumber, and plywood veneer|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
- Like most pines, Shortleaf pine is a popular bonsai.
- Young trees may sprout from the base especially after fires or mowing which differentiate them from other southern pines.
- A deep taproot develops early in its life cycle, which helps it to grow on poor sites.
- The plant has excellent fire adaptability – its thick platy bark protects the cambium from fire injury, its cones with plentiful seed crops aid seedlings to recover after a fire, and it can control the production of flammable resins.
Published on August 20th 2016 by Sajal Datta under Pine.
Article was last reviewed on 5th December 2022.
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