Pine trees are prevalent in the Southeastern USA, but the species are completely different from those native to Minnesota. The Southern Pines native to St Tammany Parish, Louisiana are Loblolly, Longleaf, Shortleaf, Slash, and Spruce Pine. However, locally I’ve only identified Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda).

Loblolly Pine is the most common tree in Louisiana, by far. According to a survey by the Southern Research Station of the US Forest Service, Loblolly Pines in Louisiana numbered about 2 billion in 2005, twice as many as the second place tree, the Sweetgum. The only other pine in the top 20 Louisiana trees was the Slash Pine, which Loblolly outnumbered by about 6X.

Loblolly Pine is the most important commercial tree in the Southern US, planted extensively for lumber and pulpwood. It grows fast, about two feet per year, in a wide range of environments.

Loblolly, like most of the Southern Pines has three needles growing from each fascicle. Pine trees in Minnesota have either 2 needles/fascicle (Red, Jack) or 5 needles/fascicle (Eastern White). The cone of the Loblolly Pine has distinctive protruding barbs. The bark of the Loblolly is rather thin in comparison to other pines, such as Longleaf. A consequence is that Loblolly is less able to withstand fire than other pine trees.

Loblolly is a word of Southern origin that refers to a swampy area, or a mudhole. Its name reflects that Loblolly Pine thrives best in wetter settings.

Published by jimr77

Recently retired, loving life in northern Minnesota

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