Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Native Pine Trees of Georgia

There are many native trees in Georgia. Pine trees are prevalent, several of which are native to the state. If you are considering a pine tree for your landscape and would like to ensure planting those native to the state, these are a few good varieties.

Pinus echinata P. Mill. (Shortleaf Pine)

This pine tree will grow 50 to 100 feet tall with a broad crown. Needles are bright green and in tufts.  Yellow blooms will come February and March.  Shortleaf pine prefers partial shade and dry sandy soils with an acidic base. It is a larval host plant to the Elfin butterfly. Propagate by seed.

Pinus elliottii P. Mill. (Slash pine)

Slash pines can reach a height of up to 100 feet tall with a three foot spread. It has dark green needle foliage. It loves full sun to partial shade and moist soil. This is a good candidate to plant surrounded by azaleas.

Pinus glabra Walt. (Spruce pine)

This is a medium size evergreen pine that will get up to 40 to 60 feet tall and has a spread of 30 feet. It prefers sunny locations and wet ground. Spruce pines have dark green needles and an irregular crown. It is the poorest choice for pine wood. It has brown cone fruits and seeds that are loved by birds. This variety is more shade tolerant than most pines.

Pinus pungens Lambert (Table Mountain Pine, Prickly Pine)

The Table Mountain pine grows up to 65 feet high with profuse cones. Leaves are evergreen needles and are yellow-green in color. Needles are one-and-a-half to three-and-a-half inches long. Flowers are purple or yellow clusters if male and if female will be light purple or green clusters. Fruits are dark red-brown cones in whorls.

Pinus rigida Mill. (Pitch Pine)

This pine reaches 80 feet high with evergreen needs that are green or yellow-green. Needles are two-and-a-half to five inches long with two to four inch long cones. Male flowers are red or yellow and in clusters at the tips of twigs. Female flowers are yellow or red and have curved scales.  Cones are light brown and will mature in the fall season.


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