Stand Highlight: C72 Longleaf Pine

History & Silviculture

Longleaf Pine – Basic Silvics

  1. Botanical name: Pinus palustris
  2. Other common names:  Hard pine, longleaf yellow pine, southern pine, southern yellow pine
  3. Needles:  Clusters of (3), can grow up to 18 inches in length, typically 8” to 18”
  4. Climate: Prefers humid, long hot summers and mild winters
  5. Shade tolerance: Longleaf Pine is very shade intolerant. This drives much of the management planning associated with Longleaf Pine stands.
  6. Soils: Prefers sandy, low organic matter, well drained, acidic soils.
  7. Range: The Southeastern US, with the Duke Forest located in the NW corner of the range.  
  8. Seed production: Tree produces large cones with seed drop happening in the fall. Germination is very dependent on having a seedbed that will provide for root growth into soil. One of the purposes of prescribed burning is to provide better seed access to topsoil.
  9. Typical size:  30-40” diameter max, height range is 98 to 115 ft at maturity
  10. Canopy:  In a mature stand, canopy should be managed to 33 – 40% of tree height. This ensures significant sunlight to promote tree growth and health.
  11. Stages:  A typical stand will progress through an initial grass stage where the understory has competing grasses and plants, then a sapling stage where trees continue to become more fire tolerant, and then a mature stand.
  12. Fire-based ecosystem:  Successful Longleaf stands are dependent on natural or prescribed fire management to shape the forest ecosystem required for successful establishment and growth of Longleaf stands. Longleaf is very tolerant to fire after the first year of establishment.
  13. Utility: lumber, pulp, historically used for naval stores
  14. Pests: Longleaf is susceptible to brown spot needle blight (fungus) and insects like the pine bark beetle. Bark beetle infestations are typically seen on the lower part of the bole with entry holes visible on the bark. Brown spot can be controlled as part of the prescribed burning plan as diseased needle material is eliminated.

1. Introduction | 2. Location | 3. Background | 4. H&S: Timeline | 5. H&S: Basic Silvics | 6. Photos | 7. References

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