A Look At The Longleaf Pine


Photo Courtesy By nature.org

Reaching to heights of 150 feet tall, meet the longleaf pine.

This unique plant species extends its forests from Virginia to Texas, and can go up to 500 years old.

Longleaf pine forests are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world, according to mnn.com.

This tree is the state tree of Alabama and North Carolina. It also has “the showy bark, open branching habit, distinctive silvery white winter buds, decorative cones and low maintenance (that) makes it well-suited as a landscape specimen and as a street tree where space permits,” as stated by arborday.org.

Once, the longleaf pine was the most extended plant species. It reached to around 90 acres, roughly the size of the state of Montana, according to americanforests.org. Now they cover less than 3% of their original ground.

Forests of Longleaf pine trees were cleared for development and agriculture. “The lumber, which is of exceptional quality, was used for building ships and railroads.” according to nwf.org.

Longleaf pine seeds are formed in cones before being taken by the wind. The seeds must come in contact with soil to germinate, according to nwf.org. The Longleaf pine also takes time in a grass stage before actually growing in height.

If you would like to see a longleaf pine forest you could visit Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas. For more info go to  nature.org.