loblolly pine
Pinus taeda L.
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: old field pine
  • LEAVES: needles dark green and straight, 4-9" long, in fascicles of 3's (rarely 2's), persistent 2-4 years
  • SEED CONES: sessile, apophysis dull grayish brown, 3-6" long, prickly; seeds 0.25”, brow
  • TWIGS: slender, buds scales reddish brown, eciliate; needles dispersed along twigs; foliage along a single branch looks "thin"
  • BARK: scaly/platy, dark on young trees, cinnamon colored on older trees, with flat oblong plates
  • FORM: medium-to-large, to 80-110’ tall and 2.5’ dbh
  • HABITAT: naturally found as a component of mesic forests experiencing infrequent fire, usually growing intermixed with hardwoods; now widely planted for timber, and invading formerly open fire-maintain woodlands in the absence of frequent fire; thus, this species is much more widespread and abundant on today’s landscape than pre-1900; a rapid invader of abandoned fields when a seed source is nearby
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative (FAC): Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: southeastern US, Texas to Florida, north to New Jersey, to 2300 feet elevation [USGS Range Map]
  • USES: the principal pine for lumber and pulp in the southeastern US
  • WILDLIFE: occasionally browsed by whitetail deer, with planted seedlings seeing increased pressure in late winter; doves, quail, turkey eat pine seeds, along with many song birds and squirrels
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. needles 3 per fascicle, intermediate in length compared to other Louisiana pines
    2. cones sessile, dull grayish-brown, prickly
    3. bud scales reddish-brown, lacking cilia