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Diseases of Trees and Shrubs, 2nd edition, by Wayne A. Sinclair and Howard H. Lyon, © 2005 Cornell University, Cornell University Press, p. 384
USDA, NRCS. 2011. The PLANTS Database (<http://plants.usda.gov/>, 22 August 2011). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901
Sullivan, Janet. 1993. Pinus glabra. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [2011, August 22].
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Map courtesy USDA NRCS PLANTS Database
Pinus glabra (Walter)
State List: AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, SC
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Common names: Bottom White Pine, Cedar Pine, Walter Pine, Walter's Pine
Home>Families>Pinaceae> Pine (Pinus)>Spruce Pine (Pinus glabra Walter.)
Spruce Pine, Pinus glabra (walter), found in the southeastern United States. An uncommon tree, it is usually found singly in mixed forests. This native evergreen conifer gets its name because of the way it produces smaller branches between the major branch whorls similar to a spruce. A medium sized tree, Spruce pines usually grow 80 to 100 feet tall and reach 2 to 2.5 feet in diameter. The single trunk is straight with horizontal, somewhat drooping branches supporting a spreading, irregular crown. Young trees have smooth gray bark, a quality which is retained throughout maturity on the upper branches. Eventually, the trunk bark becomes darker gray and furrowed into rough, irregular, vertical plates. The needles are also spruce-like in that they are short for a pine tree, only 1.5 to 4 inches long, and deep, dark, green. In
bundles of 2, the needles are also slender and flexible. Cones are 2 to 3.5 inches long, almost stalkless, and globose, meaning roughly spherical. Each scale is tipped with a tiny prickle and when mature, the cones are reddish-brown. The root structure consists of a deep taproot and deep laterals about 30 inches below the surface. Spruce pine has a moderate life span and can live approximately 113 years. The champion Spruce pine is 125 feet tall.
The native climate for Spruce pine has long, hot and humid summers followed by a short, mild winter. Rarely found in pure stands, It is more commonly found as a lone tree with other hardwood species in the coastal plains of the southeast. Pinus glabra prefers moist to wet sites in bottomland woods or along swamps and riverbanks. Soils are medium to coarse textured, usually sandy loams, with a pH range of 3.8 to 5.6. Annual rainfall needs are 35-66 inches, frost free days are 240, it is cold hardy to -2°F, and has a low drought tolerance.
Photo citation: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database
Pests and Diseases
Spruce pine is susceptible to one of the three Ganoderma rot species in North America known to infest conifers. Ganoderma meredithae causes white root and butt rot and usually infects only trees from Georgia to eastern Texas. Because of its scattered distribution, Spuce pine has less insect and disease issues associated with it than other pines. It is a shade tolerant tree species.
The wood of Pinus glabra is brittle and not well suited for commercial use. On occasion is may be used for pulpwood or lumber and is used more frequently as a landscape tree. Like all pines, turpentine can be distilled from the resin and has been used in times past in treatments of 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. Moreover, all pine seeds, regardless of species, are edible. Waterproofing articles can also be done by using the resin. When heated, the warm resin can also be used as a glue and strengthened by mixing in ash dust if used immediately.
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