Loblolly pine (Kral 1993), North Carolina pine, oldfield pine, bull pine, rosemary pine.
It occurs in subgenus Pinus, subsection Australes Loudon. This subsection is comprised largely of species found in the SE US and Caribbean, and includes most of the pines that co-occur with this species in mixed stands (such as P. echinata, P. elliottii, P. glabra, Pinus palustris, and P. serotina) are in the same subsection. Pinus taeda frequently hybridizes with P. echinata and P. palustris to form P. × sondereggeri H.H. Chapman (Kral 1993).
"Trees to 46 m; trunk to 160 cm diam., usually straight, without adventitious shoots; crown broadly conic to rounded. Bark red-brown, forming square or irregularly rectangular, scaly plates, resin pockets absent. Branches spreading-ascending; twigs moderately slender (to ca. 1 cm thick), orangish to yellow-brown, aging darker brown, rough. Buds lance-cylindric, pale red-brown, 1-1.2(1) cm, mostly less than 1 cm broad, slightly resinous; scale margins white-fringed, apex acuminate. Leaves 2-3 per fascicle, ascending to spreading, persisting 3 years, (10)12-18(23) cm × 1-2 mm, straight, slightly twisted, pliant, deep yellow-green, all surfaces with narrow stomatal lines, margins finely serrulate, apex acute to abruptly conic-subulate; sheath 1-2.5 cm, base persistent. Pollen cones cylindric, 20-40 mm, yellow to yellow-brown. Seed cones maturing in 2 years, shedding seeds soon thereafter, not persistent, solitary or in small clusters, nearly terminal, symmetric, lanceoloid before opening, narrowly ovoid when open, 6-12 cm, mostly dull yellow-brown, sessile to nearly sessile, scales without dark border on adaxial surface distally; apophyses dull, slightly thickened, variously raised (more so toward cone base), rhombic, strongly transversely keeled; umbo central, recurved, stoutly pyramidal, tapering to stout-based, sharp prickle. Seeds obdeltoid; body 5-6 mm, red-brown; wing to 20 mm. 2n=24" (Kral 1993).
USA: New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas at 0-700 m elevation. Habitat mesic lowlands and swamp borders, to dry uplands (Kral 1993). Hardy to Zone 7 (cold hardiness limit between -17.7°C and -12.2°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001). See also Thompson et al. (1999).
Diameter 152 cm, height 45 m, crown spread 25 m, located in Warren, AR (American Forests 1996). Southease of Warren, Ashley County also has some large trees, and General Land Office survey records (which are the closest thing we have to presettlement data) record trees up to 182 cm dbh (18.8 feet girth) (Bragg 2006). The largest tree in South Carolina, in Congaree Swamp National Park, has a dbh of 152 cm, height 44 m, stem volume 42 m3 (Robert Van Pelt e-mail 2004.02.17). Other trees in the Congaree have been measured to heights as great as 52.7 m (173 feet), with the tallest (probably still) living tree measured at 51.4 m (168.7 feet) (Blozan 2005). These are lasered heights calculated during a comprehensive survey; taller trees have been reported from the Congaree in the past, but they were measured using survey methods notoriously prone to overestimation (Will Blozan e-mail 2007.08.27). Trees up to 46 m tall have been reported for the Lost Forty forest (33° 23'N, 92° 23'W) in south-central Arkansas (Heitzman et al. 2004).
There is a crossdated age of 191 years for specimen UC04-2 collected at Union Camp Big Woods, North Carolina by A.C. Barefoot and W.L. Hafley in 1985 (NCDC 2006). Pederson (2006) reports a ring-counted age of 241 years for a big tree in the Congaree Swamp National Monument, South Carolina.
One of the best places to see old-growth loblolly pines is Congaree Swamp National Park, South Carolina, where the trees grows as emergents approximately 46 m tall above a subtropical broadleaf floodplain forest canopy. Another old growth forest remnant occurs in Arkansas at the Levi Wilcoxon Demonstration Forest (LWDF) south of Hamburg (Bragg 2006). It is also well represented in a mixed stand with Pinus palustris at Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve in North Carolina.
Originally most races of Pinus taeda were in the lowlands. Following disturbance of the natural vegetation after settlement by Europeans, the species spread to fine-textured, fallow, upland soils, where it now occurs intermixed with P. echinata and P. virginiana (P. × sondereggeri H.H. Chapman) (Kral 1993).
Blozan, Will. 2005. Congaree National Park 1/14-16/2004. http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldtrips/south_carolina/congaree_national_park_1.htm, accessed 2007.08.27.
Bragg, Don. 2006. LWDF and a champion shortleaf pine. http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldtrips/arkansas/lwdf_shortleaf.htm, accessed 2007.08.27.
Heitzman, E., M.G. Shelton, and A. Grell. 2004. Species composition, size structure, and disturbance history of an old-growth bottomland hardwood-loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) forest in Arkansas, USA. Natural Areas Journal 24(3):177-187. Available: http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/9494 (2008.10.15).
National Park Service. 1995. Congaree Swamp Official Map and Guide. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office [Paintings by John Dawson].
[NCDC 2006] Data accessed at the National Climatic Data Center World Data Center for Paleoclimatology Tree-Ring Data Search Page, 2006.09.08. URL:http://hurricane.ncdc.noaa.gov/pls/paleo/fm_createpages.treering.
The FEIS database.
Pederson, N., R.H. Jones, and R.R. Sharitz. 1997. Age structure of old-growth loblolly pine stands in a floodplain forest. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 124(2):111-123.
Schultz, R. P. 1997. Loblolly Pine. USDA. For. Serv. Agric. Handb. 73. Washington DC.
Wagner, D. B., Nance, W. L., Nelson, C. D., Li, T., Patel, R. N. and Govindaraju, D. R. 1991. Taxonomic patterns and inheritance of chloroplast variation in a survey of Pinus echinata, Pinus elliottii, Pinus palustris, and Pinus taeda. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 22:683-689.
Wu and Raven (1999): the Flora of China, which is available online, has a good description and line drawing (it is a common plantation species in parts of China).
Last Modified 2012-11-27