Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)
Longleaf pine is well known for its long needles and its historical production of naval stores (pitch, tar, rosin and turpentine). It is sometimes called longstraw pine, heart pine or hard pine. Its natural range includes the Coastal Plain of the South Atlantic and Gulf states to eastern Texas. Although once common throughout the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, it is found less frequently today.
The longleaf pine is a medium-to-large tree that commonly reaches over 80 feet with diameters in excess of 2 feet. It is characterized by a long, clear, bright green tufts of needles and a deep taproot supported by numerous wide spreading lateral roots. Young trees form one of the most striking features of the southern forest; five to ten year old tree display a handsome plume of sparkling green needles, often appearing cactus-like.
Although found in mixed stands, longleaf often forms pure stands on nearly all soils. It grows most often on deep, well drained, sandy soils.
Longleaf pine is one of the most distinctive and important of the southern pines. It produces high-quality lumber, poles and pilings, as well as pulpwood for paper. Its resin can be used in paints, varnishes and other compounds. The needles are frequently raked, baled and sold as garden mulch. The cones are often collected and used in crafts or for decorative purposes.
Old growth longleaf stands provide an important habitat for the red-cockaded woodpecker, an endangered species. Other benefits to wildlife include food and roosting opportunities for turkey. Small rodents, quail and songbirds eat the seeds as well.
Price listed is for 334 seedlings.