Longleaf: The Tree

The longleaf pine, Pinus palustris P. Mill., is found throughout the Southeastern United States. It is easily identified by its long needles and large cones at maturity and by its distinct life stages during development–seedling, grass, bottle brush, sapling and maturity. During the grass stage, which lasts up to seven years, thick needles protect the growing tip or bud from fire, an important aspect of the longleaf ecosystem. Commercially, longleaf pine is known for its wood density, straight form and consistent taper, and its long pine needles are valued for landscaping mulch.

Life Stages of the Longleaf Pine  (Longleaf Alliance)
Longleaf pine is the longest lived of the southern pine species. Throughout most of its range, individual longleaf pines can reach 250 years in age (with trees in excess of 450 years old having been documented).

Secrets of the Longleaf Pine (Video)
From the producers of “Chattahoochee Unplugged” comes a new documentary about the forgotten Longleaf Pine forest that once blanketed the coastal plain of the Southeastern United States.

Introduction to Longleaf Pine (N.C. Forest Service)
Longleaf pine grows unlike any other pine tree in the South. After the seed germinates, the tree takes the form of a large, thick clump of pine needles on the soil surface. This initial growth pattern is called the ‘grass stage’ since the tree appears much like a bundle of needle-like grass.

Longleaf Pine (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), whose species name means “of the marsh,” has been locally referred to as longstraw, yellow, southern yellow, swamp, hard or heart, pitch, and Georgia pine.

What is a Longleaf Pine Forest (American Forest Foundation)
Longleaf pines thrive where low-intensity fires are frequent. That’s because their seeds fall to the ground and must stay in contact with the soil to germinate and grow.

Silvicultural Aspects of Longleaf Pine (on demand webinar, USDA Forest Service, Southern Regional Extension Forestry, NC State Cooperative Extension, Texas Forest Service)
From this webinar you will learn:
• Getting to know the Pinus pallustris species, its life cycle, climate and soil requirements, fire adaptation, and general overview of longleaf silviculture
• Current markets for longleaf pine wood, needles, and cones
• Ecological benefits of longleaf ecosystem services
• Organization and resources for longleaf restoration
• Sources of more information and support for longleaf management