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Pinus rigida

Phonetic Spelling
PY-nus RIJ-ih-dah
Description

This plant grows scattered about mountainous regions in North Carolina at elevations as high as 4,500 ft.  It has an open form, irregularly pyramidal when young, and the trunk has a diameter of roughly 1 to 2 ft.  The thick, gnarled branches take on a somewhat pendulous form.  An irregular, globular form with twisting, gnarled, drooping branches.  It has scaly, reddish-brown bark which eventually becomes black.  Its stiff yellow-green needles eventually turn dark green.  They grow in clusters of 3.  

This specimen may bear tufts of needles on the trunk with a broad, rounded or irregular crown of horizontal branches.  

It does best in areas with full sun.  It prefers moist, well-drained soil but will tolerate a wide range of soils including poor, dry and rocky soil.  This tree is salt tolerant and resistant to damage by deer. Although it can be damaged by fire, it will form sprouts from its roots and stumps.

Like many other pine species, Pitch Pine is commonly harvested for lumber, pulp, and other wood products. 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Little Giant'
    Also known as 'Sherman Eddy'
  • 'Sand Beach'
    Low-growing, prostrate form with denesly born, medium green foliage. Found growing along a beach in Maine.
  • 'Sherman Eddy'
    Slow-growing, dwarf rounded form found in mountains of Pa. Brigh green, long needles. Also called 'Little Giant'
Tags:
#sun#native tree#conifer#salt tolerant#NC native#well-drained soil#dry soil tolerant#deer resistant#lumber#Braham Arboretum#poor soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Little Giant'
    Also known as 'Sherman Eddy'
  • 'Sand Beach'
    Low-growing, prostrate form with denesly born, medium green foliage. Found growing along a beach in Maine.
  • 'Sherman Eddy'
    Slow-growing, dwarf rounded form found in mountains of Pa. Brigh green, long needles. Also called 'Little Giant'
Tags:
#sun#native tree#conifer#salt tolerant#NC native#well-drained soil#dry soil tolerant#deer resistant#lumber#Braham Arboretum#poor soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pinus
    Species:
    rigida
    Family:
    Pinaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Lumber and wood pulp. Native Americans used to use pitch as a laxative and turpentine.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada, portions of northeast US
    Distribution:
    Canada west to Minnesota south to Georgia east up to Maine
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    In the Appalachia Mountains, wild boar eat the bark and soft outside wood of the roots.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Open
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Description:
    Approximately 1 to 3 in. light brown cones in whorls of 3 to 5. The spines on each scale are stiff and curved. After releasing seeds, the cones will stay attached to the three for several years.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Acicular
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    3 to 5 in. rigid, twisted dark yellow-green needles in bundles of 3 (3 per fascicle). Three faces of each needle have many thin, white lines of stomata.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Ridges
    Shredding
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Irregular
    Bark Description:
    Thick, yellowish-brown plates. Tufts of needles can be found growing on the trunk. Dark scaly young bark, red-brown or yellow-brown thick flat plated deep furrowed mature bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Thick, gnarled, and sometimes pendulous.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil
    Salt