Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) – An evergreen tree that can reach heights of more than 100 feet. Longleaf pine forests once covered most of the southeast with some specimens as old as 500 years. The forests were decimated by the lumber industry, but efforts were made to preserve remaining stands. Our area was once the center of a thriving turpentine industry that also used the sap.
Description: The bark is thick, reddish-brown and scaly. The leaves are dark green, needle-like, and occur in bundles of three. They often are twisted and remarkably long (up to 18 inches), the longest of all pine species native to North America. Seed cones can be up to 10” long. Essential habitat for the endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker.