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Short-Leaf Pine Pinus echinata

Phonetic Spelling
PY-nus ek-in-AY-tuh
Description

Shortleaf Pine is an evergreen tree that may grow 80 to 100 feet tall. The tree has 3- to 5-inch slender and flexible needles in clusters of 2 or 3. The fascicle sheath is persistent. The bark is scaly and dark on young trees. As the tree ages, flat scales which reveal a yellowish color when removed develop. In spring, red to yellow, male and light green to red, female flowers mature. The tree produces both a pale purple male cone and a pale pink female cone.

The Shortleaf Pine grows best in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun.  It will tolerate some light shade.  It will also tolerate a wide range of soils but prefers sandy loams.

It is an important timber tree in the deep South where it is harvested for a variety of purposes, including lumber, plywood and wood pulp (for paper).  The wood is heavy and hard, fine-grained with a yellow-brown or orange color, containing less resin than other pines economically important to the South.  Oleoresins are extracted to make turpentine. 

Buds: 6 mm (0.2 in.) long oblong to ovate, reddish-brown to greyish-brown scales and resinous. 

The formation of a deep taproot complicates transplanting from the wild.        

Fire Risk: This plant has a high flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home. Select plants with a low flammability rating for the sites nearest your home. 

 Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Healthy, well-maintained Shortleaf pine trees usually have few problems. Pine beetles and weevils are potential insect pests.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#wildlife plant#native tree#conifer#cover plant#shelter#host plant#host#food source#fire#high flammability#NC native#well-drained soil#deer resistant#screening#Braham Arboretum#cover#food source fall#sandy soils tolerant#loamy soils tolerant#bird friendly#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#wildlife plant#native tree#conifer#cover plant#shelter#host plant#host#food source#fire#high flammability#NC native#well-drained soil#deer resistant#screening#Braham Arboretum#cover#food source fall#sandy soils tolerant#loamy soils tolerant#bird friendly#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pinus
    Species:
    echinata
    Family:
    Pinaeceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Use as Lumber, plywood, even taproots are used for pulpwood.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern United States
    Distribution:
    Southeastern NY west to eastern OK south to southern TX east to northern FL
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It provides winter cover.  It is also a host plant for the Eastern Pine Elfin butterfly and many moths.  Squirrels, other small mammals, and birds eat the seeds.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wind Break
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    The Shortleaf pine is moderately resistant to deer damage.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 80 ft. 0 in. - 100 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Horizontal
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The symmetrical, ovoid, short-stalked cones (1.5 to 2.5" long) are usually not produced until the tree reaches 20 years of age. The tip of each scale has a short spine. This tree produces both a pale purple male cone and a pale pink female cone that releases seeds from fall to winter. Once empty, the cones stay attached to the tree for many years.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    In the spring, red to yellow, male and light green to red, female flowers mature on the Shortleaf pine.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Acicular
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The Shortleaf Pine has slender, flexible, dark bluish-green needles (3-5" long) that appear in bundles of two or three. It begins to drop needles at the end of its second season, some needles remaining until its fifth year.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Black
    Dark Gray
    Light Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Ridges
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Irregular
    Bark Description:
    Rough, dark grey to black bark when young and reddish or yellowish-brown to dark brown when mature, furrowed into irregular flat, scaly plates with small resin pores dotted along scaly plates. Attractive reddish-brown bark in irregular scaly plates on mature trees, comparatively thinner and lighter than old Loblolly pines. Their distinct identifying feature is the surface pits and holes in the outer bark scales. As the tree ages, the flat scales reveal a yellowish color when removed.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Comparatively slender branches to other pine species.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer