Virginia pine
Pinus virginiana
  • LEAVES: needles in fascicles of 2, twisted and often divergent; 1.5-3.0 inches long ; yellow-green; in Louisiana, a blight causes needle loss and yellowing
  • FRUIT: cone 1.5 to 2.75 inches long; ovoid-conic with flat base; sessile; thin scales: dark brown ring on the inside edge of the scales; umbo dorsal and armed with weak prickle; persistent 3-4 years
  • TWIGS: green at first, becoming purplish-glaucous by the end of first growing season
  • BARK: thin and smooth when young, becoming scaly when older
  • FORM: small tree, normally 40’ x 12”, maximum: 120’ x 3’; persistent branches
  • HABITAT: good to poor dry sites; pioneer species, invades old fields
  • RANGE: Pennsylvania to Alabama; on plateaus surrounding the Appalachian Mountains
  • USES: poor quality wood, used for pulp; out-produces other pines on poor sites; Christmas trees, becoming less frequent
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. fascicles of 2, twisted, divergent
    2. thin, smooth bark when young
    3. purple twigs
    4. dark ring on cone scales