Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)
Category: Evergreen Trees
The longleaf pine is a pine whose origin is believed to be to the south eastern United States. This region includes the coastal plain of Texas to southeast Virginia into central and northern Florida.
Typical longleaf pines grow to a maximum height of about 115ft though some have reportedly grown to as tall as 155ft. The bark of this tree species is very thick, scaly and reddish brown in colour. Its leaves are darker green, needle like and grow in bundles of three. They are repeatedly twisted and very long ranging between 8 to 18 inches.
These trees take about 150 years to grow into maximum size and can stay for as long as 500 years. When they are still young, these trees develop a tap root system that grows up to 10 inches long but when fully grown, they develop lateral roots and several deep sinker roots. For these trees to thrive well, they have to be planted or grow in sandy soils.
Longleaf pine has been found to be highly pyrophytic. It is very resistant to wildfires. When wildfires occur, all other tree species are consumed leaving only this species. When such happens, they grow together to form a longleaf savanna.
Furthermore, these trees are very rich when it comes to biodiversity. They act as a habitat for different animals especially for gopher tortoises.
Uses of Longleaf Pine Tree
This tree has been used for several purposes since its discovery. They acted as the source of naval stores. Their yellow resinous wood is used for lumber as well as pulps. On the other hand, the extreme long needles are used for crafting of baskets.
Therefore, this tree species is very ancient and has its own share of command when it comes to pine trees. To sum up, it does better in arid or desert like regions as well as sandy soils and are very resistant to wild fires.
The Longleaf Pine is the state tree of Alabama