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Shortleaf Pine-- Pinus echinata

shortleaf pine A slow-growing species compared to other pines, shortleaf pine begins its life as a  semi-shade tolerant species capable of establishing itself under sparse competition. Demonstrating a consistent diameter growth pattern in some of its range, shortleaf pine will maintain itself in a stand once reaching the dominant or codominant crown canopy position. Shortleaf pine is susceptible to littleleaf  disease in flood-prone areas, but it does show the most resilience to ice with  respect to other southern pines.

Shortleaf pine characteristics include:

Development of a deep taproot early in its life cycle. This adaptation allows the species to flourish on poor sites;

Historically, this taproot was harvested for pulpwood while the upper stem was marketed as saw timber;

Today, the species is still a saw timber commodity and due to its tight, dense wood and lack of taper, it is ideal for the log home industry;

As individuals reach biological maturity, they become excellent cavity trees for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, and in mixed hardwood stands, shortleaf pine provides winter protection for many small birds and mammals.

shortleaf distributionShortleaf pine was once one of the dominate pine species in the southern United States, prior to the planting of loblolly pine plantations and fire control programs. The species ranges from southern New Jersey to Florida and west to Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri.

To learn more about shortleaf pine, see the Forest Service's shortleaf pine fact sheet .

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