slash pine
Pinus elliottii Engelm.
  • LEAVES: dark glossy green, straight, persistent 2-3 seasons, somewhat tufted towards ends of twigs, 4-10" long, 2 or 3 needles per fascicle (usually both represented on a given sample branch)
  • SEED CONES: cones to ca. 6" long, stalked; apophysis reddish brown and waxy, umbo dorsal with a short spine, not as prickly as loblolly pine (Pinus taeda)
  • TWIGS: thicker than loblolly pine, thinner than longleaf pine; bark of twigs from which needles have been shed are roughened by persistent scale leaves; buds reddish brown with white cilia
  • BARK: coarsely platy on older trees with outer layers sloughing to expose orange inner bark (the orange inner bark is particularly conspicuous following a burn, standing out against charred portions)
  • FORM: medium to large tree
  • HABITAT: naturally relegated by frequent fire to baygalls and very wet flatwoods supporting pondcypress (Taxodium ascendens); with fire exclusion, slash pine readily expands onto higher sites, at the expense of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris); also, slash pine has been planted for timber on various sites, including well outside its natural range
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Wetland (FACW): Usually occurs in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: East Gulf Coastal Plain and Atlantic Coastal Plain in FL, GA, SC; not native west of the Mississippi River, where it has been planted for timber [USGS Range Map] [US County Range Map]
  • Note that on the county distribution map, Texas counties of occurrence are mis-symbolized – rather than yellow, which indicates slash pine is rare in Texas, counties should be teal-green as in Oklahoma indicating the species is adventive there

  • USES: important pulp and timber producer; naval stores (turpentine production)
  • WILDLIFE: doves, quail, turkeys eat pine seeds, along with many song birds and squirrels; young foliage is browsed by whitetail deer
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. orange platy inner bark
    2. needles in regularly occurring 2’s and 3’s
    3. cones reddish-brown and waxy, lightly armed, stalked