shortleaf pine
Pinus echinata Mill.
  • LEAVES: needles 2 or 3 per fascicle but predominately 2; needles 3-5” long; length overlaps with Pinus glabra, occasionally overlaps with P. taeda, does not overlap with needle length of P. elliottii and P. palustris; needles persistent for 3-4 seasons
  • SEED CONE: mature female cones to 1.5-2.5” long, nearly sessile, ovoid to subcylindric; umbo prickle recurved toward base of cone, often deciduous
  • TWIGS: stout, orange-brown, rough scaly
  • BARK: bark of larger trees with flat, broad, heavy reddish brown fairly uniform, more or less rectangular, laminated plates from which outer layers slough off gradually; visible resin ducts present on bark plates which look as if the bark was punctured by the tip of a sharp pencil
  • FORM: medium to large tree, to 100’ tall and 3’ dbh; clear bole, though often forked when open grown; smaller stems (up to ca. 8” diameter) exhibit stump sprouting following mechanical wounding or fire top kill; water sprouts on trunk from latent buds may be present
  • HABITAT: clayey or loamy upland woodlands in WGCP and UWGP; xeric sandhill woodlands in UWGCP; a regularly-occurring but not abundant element of Pinus palustris woodlands which burn often, typically more abundant on sites burned less frequently
  • RANGE: eastern U.S., north to IL, IN, PA, NY; largest range of the southern pines [USGS Range Map]
  • USES: lumber, plywood, pulpwood; occasionally used as an ornamental
  • WILDLIFE: seeds eaten by birds and small mammals (squirrels may cut the cones open and eat the seeds before the cones open naturally); older shortleaf pine with red heart rot serve as nesting trees for red cockaded woodpeckers; trees are used for roosting by turkey and nesting by squirrels
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. needles mainly 2 per fascicle, to 4” long and straight (twisty in P. glabra)
    2. seed cones less than 3 inches long and persistent on trees for several years
    3. cinnamon-colored bark with resin ducts
    4. water sprouts frequently present on trunk