Map courtesy USDA NRCS PLANTS Database
Loblolly Pine Distribution map: AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA
Pinus taeda has a widespreading crown with horizontal branches that often zig-zag
Pinus taeda cones
tipped with a small prickle.  Every 3-6 years, an abundant seed crop is produced.  The seeds, which require cold stratification, are small, brown, single winged, and remain dormant in seedbeds 4 to 8 months until conditions are right.  The crown is pyramidal on young trees but becomes dense and somewhat rounded when fully grown.  Loblolly pine has a tap root 4-5 feet in length during the early part of its development but eventually utilizes a network of lateral roots reaching 35 inches below the surface.  This feature makes mature specimens wind throw resistant despite their height.   


Pinus taeda requires 35-65 inches of annual rainfall, 150 frost free days and does not usually survive temperatures below -8°F.  It has a low drought tolerance and draws heavily on available moisture near growth site, especially during its growth period of spring and summer. 
The preferred site has a pH of 4.0-7.0 and deep, moist, poorly draining soil.  It can occupy areas with sandy loams or clay and while it can tolerate just about any soil texture, it has no salinity tolerance.  Loblolly pine is often found along stream and river flood plains and is often used for soil stabilization because of root system and fast growth. 


Uses for this native species include lumber, naval and veneer products as well as pulpwood.  While not often used in landscape applications, it does have a pleasant aroma.  Most often it is used for shade and as a windbreak.  If planting for a windbreak, care should be taken when selecting plants that are container grown.  Seedlings that are root bound do not typically develop proper root structures.  This problem is compounded by the fast growth rate and can lead to the tree being blown down after a few years.  As with all pines, turpentine can be distilled from the resin, which in times past has been used to treat a variety of ailments.  Respiratory complaints like coughing,
bronchitis, common colds, and influenza were eased by steam baths and inhalers.  Skin problems, wounds and sores were also treated with poultices and salves. In the late 1800's, it was even used to treat tuberculosis.
Interesting fact: When burnt material from Loblolly Pine decomposes, it increases the nitrogen levels in the soil- a potential low cost alternative for nitrogen fertilization.
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Pests, Diseases, and Elemental

Some insect pests common to Loblolly pine are southern pine beetles, saw flies, pine engraver beetles, pine tipped moths and seedling debarking weevils.  There are also environmental agents that adversely affect P.

Hailed as the leading commercial timber tree in the southeast United States, the native Loblolly pine grows rapidly with a straight trunk clear of branches.  It reaches 50 feet in just 20 years, and when mature can top 100 feet with a trunk diameter between 2-3 feet.  The bark on young trees is usually dark, blackish-brown and scaly. Mature Loblolly pines are more deeply fissured, have large irregular plates and are reddish-brown. Slender yellow green needles are about 9 inches long. They are stiff, in bundles of 3 (rarely 2) and make quality litter. Female cones are oval to conical, between 2-6 inches long and light brownish-gray in color.  Each scale is
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Trees of North America- A guide to field identification-a Golden Field Guide from St. Martin's Press © 2002 By C. Frank Brockman p.32

The Encyclopedia of North American Trees by Sam Benvie. Firefly Books Ltd.,2000 Buffalo, NY © 2000 Sam Benvie p.184

Diseases of Trees and Shrubs,
2nd edition, by Wayne A. Sinclair and Howard H. Lyon,  © 2005 Cornell University, Cornell University Press, p. 296, 340, 482

USDA, NRCS. 2011. The PLANTS Database (<>, 22 August 2011). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901

Cary, Jennifer H.1992. Pinus taeda. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [2011, August 22].
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Common names: Bull Pine, Rosemary Pine, Old Field Pine, Shortleaf Pine, North Carolina Pine, Arkansas Pine

State List: AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA

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Loblolly Pine,
Pinus taeda
A firmaret radicem amittere possit foliis in vento et triturabis bacchatur durante tempestas, sed supersit quia est flexibilis. Talis est vita.
taeda, such as ozone, to which Loblolly pine is sensitive too.  In the absence of visual damage, slowed growth has been detected in this species.  While Loblolly pine does well near streams and rivers, and prefers poorly draining soils. It only has an intermediate tolerance to water logged soils. This occurs most often when trees are planted in cut out sections of otherwise concrete covered landscaping designs.  Water logged soils result in root damage which leads to the failure of the root system to properly support the rest of the tree once the soil dries out. 

Diseases attacking Loblolly pine are numerous, Fusiform rust, Cronartium quercuum f.sp. fusiforme, being of the most concern.  Loblolly pine is the second most severely impacted native species (the first being slash pine, P. elliottii).  It causes mortality in young trees and seedlings and devalues established, larger trees by creating cankers and galls.  There is also annosum root rot, which spreads by root to root contact.  Other rots include Black root rot and heart rot Phaeolus schweinitzii, which enters damaged areas or wounds.


This native species is crucial to wildlife as it is an important food source for birds and small mammals.  Seedlings are often browse food for deer and rabbits and it provides cover and habitat for birds such as wild turkeys, Northern bobwhites, as well as squirrels.  The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker makes it's nests in old growth trees. 
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Pests and Diseases