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Longleaf Pine, Longleaf Yellow Pine, Southern Yellow Pine, Longstraw Pine, Hill Pine, Pitch Pine, Hard Pine, Heart Pine
Pinus palustris


Longleaf pine is the aristocrat of southern pines, found in deep sands in east Texas. It is a fast-growing species that can reach 125 feet. It is unique in having a "grassy" stage, in which seedlings produce dense, long needles but remain only a few inches high for 3 to 25 years as they make a deep taproot. This enables them to be passed over by fire, which is an important element to the species' survival: it eliminates the hardwoods which will otherwise shade out the young trees. Longleaf pine has the longest needles (15-18 inches) and the largest cones (6-10 inches long) of all the Texas pines. It often grows in association with other trees like blackjack oak, sand post oak and sassafras that require high rainfall but excellent drainage.

Plant Habit or Use: upright conifer large tree

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: reddish to dark purple cones at branch tips

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: brown loblong cone, 6 to 10 inches long, to 5 inches wide at base

Height: to 125 ft.

Width: to 50 ft.

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements: medium

Soil Requirements: acid

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

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