Pinus taeda

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Pinus taeda
Characteristic appearance of loblolly pines, south Mississippi, USA
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Class:Pinopsida
Order:Pinales
Family:Pinaceae
Genus:Pinus
Subgenus:Pinus
Species:P. taeda
Binomial name
Pinus taeda
L.
Natural range of loblolly pine
 
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Pinus taeda
Characteristic appearance of loblolly pines, south Mississippi, USA
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Class:Pinopsida
Order:Pinales
Family:Pinaceae
Genus:Pinus
Subgenus:Pinus
Species:P. taeda
Binomial name
Pinus taeda
L.
Natural range of loblolly pine

Pinus taeda, commonly known as loblolly pine. is one of several pines native to the Southeastern United States, from central Texas east to Florida, and north to Delaware and Southern New Jersey.[2] The wood industry classifies the species as a southern yellow pine.[3] U.S. Forest Service surveys found that loblolly pine is the second most common species of tree in the United States, after red maple.[4]

Description[edit]

Developing male cones and needles

The trees reach a height of 30–35 m (98–115 ft) with a diameter of 0.4–1.5 m (1.3–4.9 ft). Exceptional specimens may reach 50 m (160 ft) tall, the largest of the southern pines. Its needles are in bundles of three, sometimes twisted, and measure 12–22 cm (4.7–8.7 in) long; an intermediate length for southern pines, shorter than those of the longleaf pine or slash pine, but longer than those of the shortleaf pine and spruce pine. The needles usually last up to two years before they fall, which gives the species its evergreen character. Although some needles fall throughout the year due to severe weather, insect damage, and drought, most needles fall during the autumn and winter of their second year. The seed cones are green, ripening pale buff-brown, 7–13 cm (2.8–5.1 in) in length, 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) broad when closed, opening to 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) wide, each scale bearing a sharp 3–6 mm spine.[2][5]

The tallest loblolly pine currently known, in Congaree National Park, is 51.4 m (169 ft) tall, and the largest, also in Congaree National Park, is 42 cubic meters in volume.[6]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

Mature unopened female cones

The word loblolly means "low, wet place",[7] but these trees are not limited to that specific habitat. Loblolly pines grow well in acidic clay soil, which is common throughout the South, and are thus often found in large stands in rural places. Other old names, now rarely used, include oldfield pine, due to its status as an early colonizer of abandoned fields; bull pine, due to its size (several other yellow pines are also often so named, especially large isolated specimens); rosemary pine, due to loblolly's distinctive fragrance compared to the other southern pines; and North Carolina pine.[8]

For the scientific name, Pinus is the Latin name for the pines and taeda refers to the resinous wood.[9]

Bark on a mature tree

Ecology[edit]

With the advent of wildfire suppression, loblolly pine has come to prevalence in some parts of the Deep South that were once dominated by longleaf pine and, especially in northern Florida, slash pine.[10]

The rate of growth is rapid, even among the generally fast-growing southern pines. The yellowish, resinous wood is highly prized for lumber, but is also used for wood pulp. This tree is commercially grown in extensive plantations.[3]

Loblolly pine is the pine of the Lost Pines Forest around Bastrop, Texas, and in McKinney Roughs along the Texas Colorado River. These are isolated populations on areas of acidic sandy soil, surrounded by alkaline clays that are poor for pine growth.

A study using loblolly pines showed that higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may help the trees to endure ice storms better.[11]

Notable trees[edit]

The famous "Eisenhower Tree" on the 17th hole of Augusta National Golf Club was a loblolly pine. U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, an Augusta National member, hit the tree so many times that, at a 1956 club meeting, he proposed that it be cut down. Not wanting to offend the President, the club's chairman, Clifford Roberts, immediately adjourned the meeting rather than reject the request outright. In February 2014, an ice storm severely damaged the Eisenhower Tree. The opinion of arborists was that the tree could not be saved and should be removed[12].

The Morris Pine is located in southeastern Arkansas; it is over 300 years old with a diameter of 142 cm (56 in) and a height of 35.7 m (117 ft).[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Farjon, A. (2013). "Pinus taeda". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Flora of North America: Pinus taeda
  3. ^ a b USDA FS: Silvics of Trees of North America: Pinus taeda
  4. ^ Nix, Steve. "Ten Most Common Trees in the United States". About.com Forestry. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Farjon, A. (2005). Pines. Drawings and descriptions of the genus Pinus, ed.2. Brill, Leiden ISBN 90-04-13916-8.
  6. ^ Gymnosperm Database: Pinus taeda
  7. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Loblolly.
  8. ^ Moore, Gerry; Kershner, Bruce; Craig Tufts; Daniel Mathews; Gil Nelson; Spellenberg, Richard; Thieret, John W.; Terry Purinton; Block, Andrew (2008). National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America. New York: Sterling. p. 73. ISBN 1-4027-3875-7. 
  9. ^ Oklahoma Biological Survey: Pinus taeda L.
  10. ^ Richardson, D. M., & Rundel, P. W. (1998). Ecology and biogeography of Pinus: an introduction. Pages 3–46 in Richardson, D. M., ed. Ecology and biogeography of Pinus. Cambridge University Press ISBN 0-521-55176-5.
  11. ^ Greenhouse Gas Good for Some Trees - LiveScience.com
  12. ^ "Masters landmark Ike's Tree suffers major damage, removed". The Augusta Chronicle. February 16, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  13. ^ Bragg, Don C. "The Morris Pine". Bulletin of the Eastern Native Tree Society. Volume 1 (Summer 2006): 20. Retrieved 2012-11-13.